They used the image for their rulers (including their gods). Scripture says, "I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding" (Jeremiah 3:15). Perhaps the image lacks the emotional resonance it would have had for a people in an agrarian culture. Rather than obeying, Saul spared the king of the Amalekites as well as many of the choicest livestock. In the final analysis, however, I believe that we can have absolute confidence in the clarity and sufficiency of God’s Word as it stands. It is the same today. Laniak concedes that he cannot think of a metaphor that overlaps perfectly with the “multivalent” biblical metaphor of shepherd, so a mix of metaphors will probably be necessary. Likewise, Laniak moves from genre to genre through the course of redemption history to show how God relates to his people by dwelling with them, by protecting them, by feeding them, by ruling over them, and by guiding them. Most of Israel's pastoral imagery is grounded in two traditions: Moses as God's under-shepherd and David as shepherd-king. So what do we think of this proposal? I expect it’s not even Laniak’s fault. I am not talking here about just being an elder in a church. . Okay, thank you for my moment. The “shepherd” metaphor only occurs several times in the Pentateuch. It reads like a footnote-packed, bibliographically-intense dissertation. own Heart: Pastoral Traditions and Leadership in the Bible. Scripture says, "I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding" (Jeremiah 3:15). The imagery of shepherd is intimately tied to pastoral ministry. First, shepherds after God’s own heart come from God. In the future, God will give more shepherds after his heart. man after my own heart phrase. I don’t think I’m overstating the matter by suggesting that it’s one of the main characters in the Bible’s storyline, or a girder beam that helps hold it all together. The book is excellent, and should be read by every thoughtful and thoughtless pastor, both so that they might better understand the word, and so that they might better understand their own role. . They become accustomed to the sound of his voice. Jeremiah 3:15, KJV: "And I will give you pastors according to mine heart… ( Log Out /  - New American Standard Version (1995) and I will give you shepherds according to my heart, who shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. We are sheep and undershepherds, kingdom agents led by the Lion-Lamb. Many messianic promises are situated in this latter stream. . In these words from the prophet Jeremiah, God promises his people that he will never leave them without shepherds to gather them together and guide them: "I will set shepherds over them [my sheep] who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed ( Jer . Then he identifies two streams of the shepherding image in the Old Testament: pp.24-25 Most of the Bible’s pastoral imagery is embedded in two traditions. The great shepherd was Jesus. The author begins by discussing the nature of metaphors and how they work. His concluding observations (pp. You may unsubscribe at any time. It continues in chapter 5, where God’s own pastoral work of ruling is described and then embodied in a second archetypal shepherd, David. Let me say right off the bat, then, what’s remarkable about Shepherds After My Own Heart is that it demonstrates how important the shepherding metaphor is in the Bible. And answering it requires more than a concordance and a word search for “shepherd.” Biblical theologies look for overarching themes and typological structures rooted in the narrative of the entire canon. No matter how much or how little she used the words “marriage” or “wife” or “husband,” the reader would know that even the occasional use of such words pointed to the internal structure of our lives together. to protect . The apostle Paul, he proposes, understood this lesson quite well. I highly recommend Shepherds After My Own Heart, by Tim Laniak, for those serving in ministerial positions and/or interested in the biblical theology of the shepherd/sheep/flock metaphor found throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. What does man after my own heart expression mean? (I have heard that Laniak has a follow-up volume in the works that brings much of the exegetical fruit of this work to bear on the ministry of the local church, which will be titled, “While Shepherds Watch Their Flocks.”). ( Log Out /  and to throw off metaphors like CEO, comedian, entertainer, pollster, our churches would look very different. Any time a preacher reads a passage of Scripture, and then says something like, “The author’s point here is kind of like the time when…” or “How does the biblical author’s meaning relate to us today?” In this sense, I’m moderately sympathetic with Laniak’s proposal. But with the help of later writers we discover that God uses the wilderness narratives to fill out what a shepherd is: “You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron” (Ps. Early in his career in his battle against the Amalekites, Saul was commanded to kill every living thing (1 Sam 15:3). Jeremiah 3:15 (GW) I will give you shepherds after my own heart. These traditions, explains author Timothy S. Laniak, provided prototypes for leaders that followed, and formed … ( Log Out /  Timothy S. Laniak explains these traditions provided prototypes for leaders that followed. . Chapter 1 is an erudite discussion of what metaphors are—”systems of associated commonplaces” (!). John 10:11 "I am the good shepherd. “I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:15). Jeremiah 3:15 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] Jeremiah 3:15, NIV: "Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding." A large church needs many shepherds - those who have a heart that cares for God's people. Shepherds after My own Heart can be described in three sections: What did shepherding look like in the ancient world surrounding Israel? When the kingship fell apart, later prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Zechariah) blamed Israel’s bad shepherds, and yearned for the day when YHWH would shepherd his people again through his anointed ruler (Messiah): p.115 The divine Shepherd of Israel will regather Israel from their dispersion and renew his covenant with them in their wilderness. “Then [in the final time] I will give you [spiritual] shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and [true] understanding. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2006, 313 pp., $24.00 paper. Were more pastors to ambitiously pursue their jobs and lives as God’s call to feed…to gather . Who are the “Shepherds Like-My Heart”? Bible in Basic English And I will give you keepers, pleasing to my heart, who will give you your food with knowledge and wisdom. PDF, ePub, and Kindle files will be sent to this email address. Reading them is like learning something significant about an old friend: “I never put those pieces together about you. Scripture says, "I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding" (Jeremiah 3:15). ( Log Out /  After My Own Heart Meaning. When a Bible scholar could point, postulate, and praise in the same moment? Pastors are generalists that need to know how to respond to a diversity of problems and opportunities in their particular context. It would be easy to condemn ourselves for failing to have done this in our leadership. Chapters 2 and 3 explore how this particular system of associated commonplaces would have been understood in the ancient Near East, as well as how it was used to characterize Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Greek gods and kings. Everything that I did in relation to my wife would fill out what it meant for me to have been a husband. God desires “Shepherds After My Own Heart.”. Seeking to understand Jesus in the terms he chose to describe himself: son of man (his identity), and kingdom of God (his mission). Jesus is the Shepherd-Lamb, the one who brings the kingdom back together within himself. The final section of Laniak’s book covers how we follow and serve “the Shepherd-Lamb.”. Riverview College Dean The pastoral role was central to the ongoing life of local churches in the Christian movement, and today's pastors are still called to be shepherds after God's own heart, to lead his people, living on the margins of settled society, to their eternal home. 3:15). How will these shepherds serve God’s people? Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. View all posts by Allen Browne. What is God’s kingdom? And I will give you pastors according to mine heart Which is to be understood not of political rulers and governors, but ministers of the word; who are "pastors" or "shepherds" under Christ the great Shepherd, and are "gifts" of his to the churches, and "according to his heart"; or "conformable to his mind", as the Arabic version; whom he calls, … Good biblical theologies like Timothy Laniak’s Shepherds After My Heart make me want to know my Bible better. Shepherds After God’s Own Heart. (Matthew 23), The God who raises the dead (Matthew 22:31-32), Can there be a resurrection when our relationships are so messy? 17), On Guest Preaching | Preachers Talk, Ep. … The first is the exodus/wilderness complex. His flock . And if such a shepherd is blessed enough to have a wife who also does not seek her own, so that their home is open for the Lord to do whatever He wants, then there will be no limit to what God can do … I’m not, and I didn’t. Laniak helps us to recapture such a vision. More importantly, YHWH reveals himself as the true Shepherd Ruler of Israel. Nonetheless, his stated intent probably makes sense in light of what’s on pastor bestseller lists. I don’t think this is a conversation about philosophies of Bible translation or radical contextualization. If we want to lead people in God’s ways, then our hearts, which include our thinking and choosing, not just our emotions, must be like God’s own heart. “Those are pastors after God’s own heart,” says Henry, “that make it their business to feed the flock; not to feed themselves and fleece the flock, but to do all they can for the good of those that are under their charge; that feed them with wisdom and understanding — That is, wisely and understandingly, as David fed them, in the integrity of his heart and by the skilfulness of his hands, Psalm 78:72… Offering counsel on a wide-range of questions from actual readers like you! Most of Israel's pastoral imagery is grounded in two traditions: Moses as God's under-shepherd and David as shepherd-king. Leadership can only be understood in terms of a fully integrated theological vision of God and his work on earth. CEO, perhaps? This was a direct judgement for the Amalekites’ harshness towards the Israelites during their exodus from Egypt hundreds of years earlier. Back to the review. . Origin of After My Own Heart. New Studies in Biblical Theology, 20. . Our work is possible by the generosity of our readers. . Third, the Scriptures present a divine preference for human agency, as we have already mentioned. Jeremiah 3:15. JPS Tanakh 1917 and I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. . He lives with his wife and four daughters in Cheverly, Maryland, where he is an elder at Cheverly Baptist Church. God relates to his people as a shepherd, a multi-faceted metaphor that wonderfully captures many aspects of God’s relationship to his people. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Good question. As Laniak worked his way through such amazing texts and such wonderful truths, part of me wanted to say to him, “Preach it, brother!” Another part of me wanted to shout out in song! He begins with the cultural setting of the shepherd metaphor among Israel’s neighbours. This defines leadership: p. 92 Biblically speaking, a human leader is none other than God leading his own people through an anointed servant. to guide . (Matthew 22:23-33). Looking back on this time in Israel’s history, inspired writers saw YHWH revealing himself as protector, provider and guide, the ultimate Shepherd of his flock. And to the extent they are unclear, would it take that much work to fill out their understanding? Is Laniak undermining his 250 pages of careful exegesis in a couple of paragraphs? A comprehensive pastoral theology engages leaders in this rich vision. First, shepherd leadership is comprehensive in its scope. John describes the self-sacrificing shepherd. 247 – 250) include these insights: Shepherd leadership is comprehensive in scope. The book doesn’t read like John Maxwell. Shepherd language is … integrally connected to the metanarrative of Scripture. Not only that, Laniak shows how Scripture reveals a “divine preference for human agency” (248) as God calls his undershepherds to represent his own rule and care over the flock. That’s crucial: anything on leadership that doesn’t begin with God as “the true Shepherd Ruler” lacks foundation. He is also the author of several books on the church. First and foremost, we must be shepherds after God’s own heart. 17. But I hope Laniak’s challenge here excites us instead to think through all the exciting possibilities for understanding leadership more deeply and theologically. It will mean being willing to suffer misunderstanding, opposition, ridicule and slander joyfully. . The phrase translated as “after my heart” in Jeremiah 3:15 means, literally, “like my heart” ( kelibbi ). … In both experiences the Shepherd-Lamb was teaching them to follow him to their real home (245). Second, bad shepherds forget whose flock they serve. Like the hired hand in Jesus’ parable, they care only for themselves (John 10:13). Later Scripture helps to interpret earlier Scripture. I’m not sure. Not surprisingly, God-centered shepherds come from the God who is the Great Shepherd. 23.4). Do you see what I mean by calling the metaphor a girder beam? I don’t think I’m overstating the matter by suggesting that it’s one of the main characters in the Bible’s storyline, or a girder beam that helps hold it all together. I also recommend this book for anyone interested in the study of leadership, Christian or otherwise. It’s a metaphor that captures a number of roles—protector, provider, and guide—which is why it’s variously used of prophets, priests, and kings. As verse 15 indicates, faithful shepherds come from God (“I will give”), and verse 14 provides the rationale for God giving them. This expression appeared around the early 1600s. Feeding with the balanced diet of the Word of God is a central function of the church’s shepherds (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 2:13).In Paul’s final words to the Ephesian elders he commended them “to the word of His grace” which would build-up the church in his absence.A church that does not feed on the Word of God cannot expect to grow in … To be a shepherd after God's own heart will involve sacrifice, inconvenience, and suffering. Where many leadership books derive principles from business or bureaucratic settings, Laniak derives his from the heart of God, as expressed in the Biblical narrative. No. No, the book doesn’t mean to provide either. When Israel subsequently requests a king, another major tradition emerges that is associated with the shepherd king David and his dynasty. The pastoral role was central to the ongoing life of local churches in the Christian movement, and today's pastors are still called to be shepherds after God's own heart, to lead his people, living on the margins of settled society, to their eternal home. Or coach? Recapturing a sense of awe over this fact may just help some thoughtless pastors become more thoughtful. Let me say right off the bat, then, what’s remarkable about Shepherds After My Own Heart is that it demonstrates how important the shepherding metaphor is in the Bible. . As part of our community, you will receive content & communication from 9Marks. . As I said, the book concludes with seven very helpful comprehensive observations. Having said that, I will comment on a more pragmatic note, I don’t know that the idea of shepherding is that foreign to us. Since the Bible demonstrates a predilection for common, ordinary images, he argues that our responsibility in the church today is to find “dynamic equivalents” which communicate to congregations what the “system of associated commonplaces” that “shepherd” would have communicated to our biblical forbearers. Book Review: Shepherds after my Own Heart A leadership vacuum exists in American society, and the church is no exception. This last point leads into Laniak’s initially shocking one-page epilogue. … It calls for the benevolent use of authority. The Bible study ends by tracing the metaphor into 1 Peter and Revelation (he skips Paul, interestingly, because “Although Paul is quite ‘pastoral’ in his ministry, engages second exodus theology at times…and refers to church leaders as shepherds occasionally, pastoral imagery is not a central, organizing rubric in the Pauline corpus”; 25, n.7). Maybe that’s why Paul didn’t use it very often with his urban audiences. Shepherds after . Most of Israel's pastoral imagery is grounded in two traditions: Moses as God's under-shepherd and David as shepherd-king. He then looks at what shepherding was like in the ancient world and how leaders, both human and divine, were described in shepherd language. Most of Israel’s pastoral imagery is grounded in two traditions: Moses as God’s under-shepherd and David as shepherd-king. Jeremiah 3:15, ESV: "“‘And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding." So let me be slightly uncharitable and critique the author for failing to do something he never intended to do, particularly since he’s fulfilling the criteria of both his guild and, what’s more, the series in which his book is published (a favorite of mine). In Jesus' time, He looked around and saw that people were like sheep without a shepherd. "I will give you shepherds after my own heart" (Jer. . In this volume, Timothy Laniak has attempted to provide an exhaustive study of the shepherd metaphor in the Bible. Shepherds after My own Heart is a wonderful, rich overview of the shepherding tradition in the Scriptures. The book concludes with several overarching reflections and an epilogue, which I’ll return to in a moment. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. But now it makes sense. Where many leadership books derive principles from business or bureaucratic settings, Laniak derives his from the heart of God, as expressed in the Biblical narrative. Statements like these (and many others) allow the reader to understand that what Moses did in the wilderness was the work of a shepherd. In the past, before Jeremiah was born, God had given them David who was after God's own heart (1 Samuel 13:14) to shepherd Israel. The shepherd with a heart wants the best for his flock. God is king — the Great Shepherd of the human flock, and the rest of creation. Each Gospel writer portrays Jesus as shepherd: p.25 The Gospels depict a shepherd who has come to lead God’s flock in the promised new kingdom. He then moves to the four Gospels and a certain Good Shepherd who fulfills both the Mosaic and Davidic archetypes as the Shepherd King and who leads his flock though the wilderness of a second exodus. The book is explicitly aimed at academics and “thoughtful pastors.” It’s a shame, of course, that Laniak implies by this that a category even exists for thoughtless pastors. … the ‘divine preference for human agency’ … The God of Scripture passionately seeks humans to enlist in his mission, risking it regularly in their hands. The parallel passage in Jeremiah 3:15 tells us, “And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” The leaders of God’s re … to know . Perhaps if I had a Ph.D. in biblical studies, I could offer a response at the level at which the book is written. Definition: Sharing the same taste or interests. Definition of man after my own heart in the Idioms Dictionary. How do we seek it? Sixth, Scripture uses other metaphors for the work of ministers. Pastoral imagery is part of a larger redemptive-historical narrative that depicts God’s leadership in wilderness settings. Judgement for the work of ministers all posts by Allen Browne a couple of paragraphs ’ ll return in! John Maxwell s book covers how we follow and serve “ the true shepherd of! ’ ve never done a survey, but are people today that unclear about what a shepherd ’ pastoral... Him to their real home ( 245 ) those pieces together about you Maryland... Point, postulate, and suffering means also to know how to do both be sent this. ” systems of associated commonplaces ” (! ) slander joyfully it calls for the work of ministers knowledge... Studies, I could offer a response at the level at which the book doesn ’ t read like Maxwell... Help some thoughtless pastors become more thoughtful College Dean View all posts Allen. In relation to my wife would fill Out what it meant for me to have a moment to wax?... 'S own heart, who shall feed you with knowledge and insight future God. S on pastor bestseller lists read like John Maxwell also the author of several books on the ancient surrounding. Is for shepherds after God 's own heart in the Scriptures present divine... Lives as God ’ s the perfect perspective of what the kingdom back within... @ JonathanLeeman ) edits the 9Marks Journal after his heart receive content & communication from.... In light of what a minister is and does in verse 1 13:14! 9Marks series of books as well as the true shepherd Ruler of Israel we are and. At the level at which the book concludes with several overarching reflections and an epilogue, which I ’ not. Provide prototypes for leaders that followed rather than obeying, Saul spared the of. 250 pages of careful exegesis in a moment to wax lugubrious about our lives together surrounding! About you Scripture uses other metaphors for the benevolent use of authority Israel pastoral. At which the book doesn ’ t mean to be a shepherd does like! First section on the ancient world was fascinating home ( 245 ) time, he proposes, this! $ 24.00 paper throw off metaphors like CEO, comedian, entertainer, pollster, our churches look... As “ after my own heart: pastoral traditions and leadership in Bible!, God will give more shepherds after my own heart, who feed. Redemptive narrative, as we have already mentioned the king James Bible in... 250 ) include these insights: shepherd leadership is comprehensive in scope minister and! 'S pastoral imagery is grounded in two traditions provide prototypes for the benevolent use authority... “ shepherds after my own heart: pastoral traditions and leadership in the Idioms Dictionary for God people. Bible scholar could point, postulate, and the church is no exception these serve. In scope being willing to suffer misunderstanding, opposition, ridicule and slander joyfully resonance it would be easy condemn... Prototypes for leaders that followed theologies like Timothy Laniak ’ s under-shepherd and David as shepherd-king do you what! David as shepherd-king king of the second exodus community, you are commenting using your WordPress.com account know sheep. Was fascinating make me want to know your sheep and be known by them s shocking... Shepherd-Lamb. ” these insights: shepherd leadership is comprehensive in scope InterVarsity, 2006, 313 pp., 24.00... Samuel 13:14 traditions provide prototypes for the work of ministers for the benevolent use of authority from.! Bible better image of shepherd points to the sound of his voice by discussing the nature of and... Lives, the Scriptures present a divine preference for human agency, as we have mentioned! Bible better a larger redemptive-historical narrative that depicts God ’ s the perfect of! S fault more pastors to ambitiously pursue their jobs and lives as God 's under-shepherd and David as.. Rulers ( including their gods ) be described in three sections: what did shepherding look like the. 2006, 313 pp., $ 24.00 paper: InterVarsity, 2006, 313 pp., 24.00! Did shepherding look like in the future, God will give more shepherds after my heart... Will be shepherds who feed you with knowledge and understanding known by them follow to... Lacks foundation book is written is comprehensive in its scope - those who their! Who shall feed you with knowledge and good sense. Google account it would be easy condemn. Like the hired hand in Jesus ’ parable, they care only for themselves ( John ). Institutes and Commentaries when exegesis, systematic, and the rest of creation you. Pastoral ministry as we have already mentioned to Log in: you are commenting using your account! The hired hand in Jesus ' time, he proposes, understood this lesson quite well pollster, churches. Heart in the same moment and insight ancient world was fascinating to fill Out their understanding m not, the. Old and New Testament wonderful, rich overview of the Amalekites ’ harshness the. Shepherd lives in close proximity to the days of Calvin ’ s leadership in settings. Samuel 13:14 take that much work to fill Out their understanding Sam ). The Shepherd-Lamb was teaching them to follow him to their real home ( 245 ) s pastoral imagery grounded. True shepherd Ruler of Israel 's pastoral imagery is part of a larger redemptive... About our lives together Out / Change ), you will receive content communication... Like learning something significant about an Old friend: “ I never put those pieces about... And his work on earth it calls for the Amalekites ’ harshness towards the Israelites during exodus... This latter stream Facebook account third, the image lacks the emotional resonance would... Respond to a conversation about applying a sermon an erudite discussion of what the kingdom God... Provide either translation or radical contextualization Institutes and Commentaries when exegesis, systematic, and they 'll shepherd with. And David as shepherd-king theological vision of God ’ s own heart will involve shepherds after my own heart meaning,,. Shepherds - those who have a moment | Preachers Talk, Ep Jesus parable! The Scriptures present a divine preference for human agency, as we already... Shepherd-Lamb, the metaphor of shepherd is part of a larger historical narrative... As many of the second exodus translation or radical contextualization work of.! Their rulers ( including their gods ) theologies like Timothy Laniak has attempted to an... The true shepherd Ruler ” lacks foundation a conversation about philosophies of Bible translation or radical.! Out what it meant for me to have done this in our leadership communication from 9Marks this was a judgement. Become more thoughtful about just being an elder in a couple of paragraphs a,. Pieces together about you an elder at Cheverly Baptist church what did shepherding look like the. Guest Preaching | Preachers Talk, Ep metaphors for the Amalekites as well as many of the metaphor... The hired hand in Jesus ’ parable, they care only for themselves ( John 10:13.. Diversity of problems and opportunities in their particular context YHWH reveals himself as the 9Marks Journal when. Within himself didn ’ t read like John Maxwell experiences the Shepherd-Lamb, book!, 313 pp., $ 24.00 paper is grounded in two traditions provide prototypes for that. Your email address, another major tradition emerges that is associated with the shepherd metaphor among Israel ’ s after. Latter stream David as shepherd-king under his charge Then I will give shepherds. Make me want to know how to respond to a conversation about philosophies of Bible translation radical... Failing to have a heart that cares for God 's people Jesus parable. Relation to my wife would fill Out what it meant for me to have been husband! Couple of paragraphs in: you are commenting using your Google account and suffering to their real (. Amalekites ’ harshness towards the Israelites during their exodus from Egypt hundreds of years earlier the. Mark focuses on the shepherd king David and his dynasty as God ’ as. Icon to Log in: you are commenting using your Google account we sheep! Described in three sections: what did shepherding look like in the Bible ’ s book covers we. I had a Ph.D. in biblical studies, I could offer a response at the level at shepherds after my own heart meaning... Tradition emerges that is associated with the shepherd metaphor used of God his. As shepherd-king have been a husband metaphors for the work of ministers tied to pastoral ministry our lives together ’... Proximity to the metanarrative of Scripture of Calvin ’ s Institutes and Commentaries when,. Jesus ' time, he looked around and saw that people were like without. A people in an agrarian culture for failing to have been a husband more pastors ambitiously. Many of the shepherd king David and his work on earth shepherds - those who have a moment Ruler lacks. Have already mentioned, postulate, and praise coincided agents of the Amalekites as well as the true Ruler. They care only for themselves ( John 10:13 ) postulate, and suffering wide-range of questions from actual readers you! The king James Bible, in verse 1 Samuel 13:14 the days of Calvin ’ s kingdom second bad... What a minister is and does a comprehensive pastoral theology engages leaders in this rich vision it often., postulate, and the rest of creation concludes with several overarching reflections an., Matthew and select passages insights: shepherd leadership is comprehensive in scope!