Bible Stories

Jonah and the
Big Fish

God said to Jonah, "Go to Ninevah and tell the people there that I am not happy with them.  Tell them to change their ways."

Jonah heard God but he disobeyed God.
He was afraid to go to Ninevah.
Instead of doing as God had asked, Jonah chose to hide from God.

Jonah got on a big ship and sailed off.
The ship was going to a far away place.

In the middle of the ocean, there started a storm.
The waves were getting bigger and bigger.
The wind was blowing harder and harder.
The sailors were afraid and all of them began praying to God.

Jonah was in the bottom of the boat hiding from God.
The captain went to him and asked him to pray with the rest of the men.
Jonah told them the storm was his fault.
He told them that he hadn't done what God asked him to do.
He said to them, "Throw me in the sea.  The seas will be quiet and it will save you."

The men didn't want to throw Jonah in the sea.
Jonah insisted.
The storm was getting worse.
The waves were higher.
The wind blew fiercely.
Finally the men agreed and threw Jonah in the sea.

Suddenly the storm stopped.
Everything was quiet.
There were no waves,
no wind,
no storm.
The men were happy for this miracle and they thanked God.

God had a huge fish swallow Jonah to keep him from drowning.
Jonah stayed in the fish for three days and three nights.
He prayed to the Lord from inside the fish.
He asked God to forgive him.
He thanked God for His mercy
From the bottom of sea,
God heard every prayer.

God spoke to the huge fish and the fish put Jonah on the beach.
God reminded Jonah to go to Ninevah.
This time Jonah went.

He warned the people that God was not happy for the way they were acting.
God would destroy the city if they did not change.
"You have forty days and Ninevah will be destroyed if you don't change", he said.
He walked the streets for three days telling the people.

The people understood the message from God.
They changed their ways.
For this God was happy.
He didn't destroy their city.
Everyone was pleased except Jonah.

Jonah went out sulking.
He sat alone in the sun.
God made a beautiful plant that grew up so tall and provided shade for Jonah.
Then God made the plant wither away.
"Why did you do that?" Jonah asked.
"You felt pity for a plant but you had none for a city full of people?" God answered.  "That city was full of people that repented when they knew I was offended.  That made me very happy."
Jonah finally understood.
God is wise and merciful and forgiving.
 

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