Jonah and the Whale

Jonah and the Whale

One day God asked Jonah to go to a place called Nineveh and tell the people living there to stop being bad.

The only problem was that Jonah didn’t want to help the people there.

He knew they were bad and he wanted them to be punished for their mistakes.

So, instead of doing what God told him to do, Jonah ran away from Nineveh Jonah ran to the sea.

He found a ship that was going to another city. He paid the captain, and went below to sleep.

While Jonah was fast asleep below, a very bad storm arose. The boat was tossed around by huge waves. The men on board were very afraid. They started to throw the cargo overboard to lighten the load and prevent the boat from sinking.

When the captain went to find Jonah, he was still sound asleep.

The captain shook Jonah and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and pray to your god. Maybe He will help us!”

The other sailors decided that the storm was Jonah’s fault. Jonah explained that he was running away from something God had asked him to do.

“It is my fault this is happening,” he said. “If you throw me into the sea the storm will stop.”

The men didn’t want to hurt Jonah. They tried to row the best they could, but the storm just got worse. So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea.

The storm immediately calmed and the sea became still.

The captain and the crew looked out to sea as a huge fish came and swallowed up Jonah.

God had sent the fish to keep Jonah from drowning. Jonah stayed in the fish for three days and three nights.

Can you imagine what it would be like inside a fish for three days? No windows. No light. No TV… While Jonah was trapped inside the fish he did a lot of praying.

He asked God to forgive him for running away. BREAK He also thanked God for saving him.

After the third day God told the fish to spit Jonah out onto dry land.

Jonah was happy to be out of the dark belly of the fish! Then the Lord told Jonah a second time to go to Nineveh and tell the people there to stop being bad. BREAK This time Jonah obeyed God and left for Nineveh right away.

When Jonah got there, he told the people what had happened to him. He warned them that God said that they should stop doing bad things or in forty days the city and everything in it would be destroyed. To Jonah’s surprise the people listened to him and they prayed to God and they said sorry for all the bad things they had done.

Soon the king of Nineveh heard what was going on and he ordered that everyone to listen to God and to stop doing bad things.

And when God saw that they were trying to be good instead of bad he decided not to destroy their city.


Reprinted with permission from Bible For Kids: A Collection of Bible Stories for Children Complete (Over 60 Illustrated) (With Over 100 Fun-Filled Follow-Up Activities).

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