This material I cut from my previous post as it involved another theme to the point I was making. However, studying the prophets is both explicitly and implicitly urged in order to better understand God’s person and program.
Biblical exhortations are important because they are from God. They are also important since in the whole of scripture exhortations are what called the people back to God. Often, what the text of the prophets do not include is the response of groups and especially individuals turning to God after the proclamation. Undoubtedly, many did respond to the prophet’s preaching or when reading his text. Undoubtedly, Daniel and his three friends were influenced by Jeremiah’s preaching since his ministry occurred prior and during Daniel’s exile of 605 B.C.E. (see Jer. 25.3). Daniel would later refer to Jeremiah’s prophecy of the “70 years” (either taken from Jeremiah’s letter or book) as a certainty and pray accordingly (see Dan. 9.2-3). One God-ordained reason for dissemination of preaching in Hebrew society is the biblical observance of attending the central sanctuary for the three yearly festivals by (at least) all males over the age of twelve.
Whenever The New Testament quotes an O.T. passage, the readers and hearers are alerted to the context in which the new information refers. This new message is rooted and grounded in instruction or revelation given previously to others. Seeking to make sense or understand how God’s word applies to modern hearers involves both knowing the O.T. and the New Covenant and how both contents inform each other.
The promise in 2 Pet. 1.19 is stated mildly but is extremely important: We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts (NIV). Reading the prophets is important because they illumine this dark world. The ‘dawning of day’ is internal to a believer as is the ‘rising of the morning star.’ The “day” seems to be the believer’s hope, their confident eternal assurance in God’s program. The “Morning Star” undoubtedly is Christ and our growing faith in Him becoming the heart’s focus. Similar calls in the N.T. include: “fixing your eyes upon Jesus” (Heb.12.2) and “cling to the Lord” (Acts 11.23). The more we see God’s working in the O.T. Prophets and their history, the more confident we will be in our deliverance from evil now and in the future.