A very long time ago lived a man named Jonah; God had a special job for Jonah, God wanted Jonah to go to the land of Nineveh and to tell the people that their evil ways had broken God’s heart. Jonah didn’t like this special job and so Jonah decided to run away. Jonah got onto a boat that was going in the opposite direction of Nineveh!
While Jonah was on the boat a storm rose up around him and it shook and blew the boat so much that the sailors thought the boat was going to break! Oh no, how scary! Jonah knew that God had sent the storm and so Jonah told the sailors to throw him into the water.
God loved Jonah and so God sent a big fish to swallow Jonah. Can you imagine being inside of a big fish? It must have been dark, and squishy, and smelled like the ocean! While Jonah was inside of the fish he prayed, and after he was done praying God commanded the fish to spit him up onto shore.
God still wanted Jonah to go to the land of Nineveh, and so Jonah obeyed God. Jonah told the people of Nineveh that their evil ways had broken God’s heart and that God was going to destroy them, and guess what, the people were sorry and the cried for God to forgive them. God loved his people so much that He decided to forgive them, God loved his people so much that he decided he was not going to destroy them.
The Bible says:
10 God saw what the people did. He saw that they stopped doing evil things. So God changed his mind and did not do what he had warned. He did not punish them. (Jonah 3:10, ICB)
God always knows what kind of help we need.
Tell God you are sorry and he will give you a second chance.
Here are some ideas for your children based on the story.
Draw a fish or print out the one below. – Colour in or rip up pieces of tissue paper, scrunch them up and glue them on! The belly of the fish was probably a scary place to be, but god was with Jonah even there!
Have children press their fingers onto a stamp pad & stamp fingers onto paper. Add features such as fins.
Blow bubbles, just like fish do – invite your child to run around and pop them as fast as they can.
Dear Jesus, we love you SO much! We pray that we can learn about how much you love us today. Come into our hearts and fill us with joy. Thank you for taking care of us. Amen