The Bible contains numerous prophecies that show God's plan and purpose with men and women. These prophecies also demonstrate to people, both then and now, that the prophet in question was giving a message from God. Today we are able to look at these remarkable prophecies and see through the record of history how they came to pass years (sometimes centuries or even millennia) after they were given. Fulfilled prophecy gives us confidence that the Bible is the word of God and that the unfulfilled prophecies which remain will happen in the future.
Israel and its Neighbours
Many prophecies were given regarding the nation of Israel and its ancient neighbours. The various fates of these different nations was described years (again often centuries) before they came to pass. In some cases the prophecy was given before the nation truly existed. Some of the nations listed below will be familiar and some might not but ALL these prophecies came true.
"And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the splendor and pomp of the Chaldeans, will be like Sodom and Gomorrah when God overthrew them. It will never be inhabited or lived in for all generations." (Isa 13:19-20).
The Babylonian empire fell to the Persians and Babylon gradually disappeared . The site of Babylon was lost to the point that many doubted it ever existed. Even now it has never been rebuilt.
"Because of the violence done to your brother Jacob, shame shall cover you, and you shall be cut off forever." (Obad 1:10).
Edom was overrun by the Nabateans from the fifth to the 2nd Century BC before being absorbed by Israel. By 70 AD they had ceased to exist.
"and I will restore the fortunes of Egypt and bring them back to the land of Pathros, the land of their origin, and there they shall be a lowly kingdom. It shall be the most lowly of the kingdoms, and never again exalt itself above the nations. And I will make them so small that they will never again rule over the nations." (Eze 29:14-15).
After this prophecy the major world power of Egypt was defeated and reduced to a minor nation. It never became a superpower again.
The major empire had its rise, history and eventual fall predicted 300 years beforehand with a particular focus on the conquest of Alexander the Great (Dan 2,7,8).
"For I am with you to save you, declares the LORD; I will make a full end of all the nations among whom I scattered you, but of you I will not make a full end." (Jer 30:11).
The ancient nation of Israel was overthrown, initially by the Babylonians, but ultimately by the Romans in 70 AD. However although they were scattered throughout the world for 2000 years they never fully disappeared and now we can see the nation of Israel once again in their own land (See Eze 37:1-14 for a more detail prophecy of their restoration).
"'Therefore, as I live,' declares the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, 'Moab shall become like Sodom, and the Ammonites like Gomorrah, a land possessed by nettles and salt pits, and a waste forever. The remnant of my people shall plunder them, and the survivors of my nation shall possess them.'" (Zep 2:9).
Moab was lost to history in the same way Sodom and Gomorrah are.
"I will cut off the inhabitants from Ashdod, and him who holds the scepter from Ashkelon; I will turn my hand against Ekron, and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish,” says the Lord GOD." (Amos 1:8).
The Philistines cities were overrun by the Greeks in the 2nd Century BC before they were conquered and destroyed by the Maccabees.
"Tyre has built herself a rampart and heaped up silver like dust, and fine gold like the mud of the streets. But behold, the Lord will strip her of her possessions and strike down her power on the sea, and she shall be devoured by fire." (Zec 9:3-4).
The Phoenician cities were destroyed by various ancient kingdoms before being absorbed by the Roman Empire.
There are many other examples like these.
These are not vague predictions like the ones you might read in horoscopes - these are specific testable predictions made a long time before they happened. These were not easily predictable events. No one would have foreseen the fall of Tyre, or the regathering of the Jews 2000 years after they were scattered.
These are reasons why we can believe in the God of the Bible.