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JONAH & THE BIG FISH
(Jonah Chapter 1 Thru 4)

(God can be more merciful and forgiving than we are.)
 

  God told a prophet named Jonah to go to a country called Nineveh to tell the people there that they were sinning and doing bad things.  God wanted them to know that if they kept being wicked that he would destroy all the people in there city.


Ship to Joppa

Jonah did not want to tell the people in Nineveh what God had told him to tell them.  So, Jonah got on a ship to go in the opposite direction to a city called Joppa.


Ship in a Storm

Jonah did not do what God had asked him to do.  Jonah disobeyed God.  Because Jonah disobeyed, the ship was in a big storm and the lives of everyone on it was in danger.

The people on the boat wanted to know who had done something wrong.  Who was the cause of the storm.  Jonah told them that he had disobeyed God. The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, "what should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us ?"


The big fish swallows Jonah

 Jonah told them " pick me up and throw me into the sea," he replied, and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you. "Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. Then they cried to the LORD, "O LORD, please do not let us die for taking this man's life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, O LORD, have done as you pleased." Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. At this the men greatly feared the LORD, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows to him.

The Lord sent a big fish to swallow Jonah. Jonah stayed in the big fish for three days and three nights.  While he was in the fish Jonah confessed his sin and asked God to forgive him, because he did not obey God and go to Nineveh like God had asked him to.


The fish vomits out Jonah.

God heard Jonah's prayers and told the fish to go to shore and vomit Jonah out.


Nineveh

Then the Lord spoke to Jonah, again. Go to Nineveh and give the people there the message I give you.  So Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh.  and went to the city where he tell them God's message: "Forty days from now and Nineveh will be destroyed.

The people believed God and they all gave up their violence and evil ways. They went on a fast and began to ask God for forgiveness.  When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not destroy the city.


Jonah was angry and selfish.

But Jonah was angry when God decided not to destroy Nineveh.  He wanted Nineveh to be destroyed, because of the evil they had done. God told  Jonah that it was not right to be angry and selfish, because the Lord God almighty is gracious and compassionate , slow to anger and abounding in love.
  It is important to obey God and not to be selfish.

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Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version . Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society.

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