Many years ago, before Jesus Christ was born, there was a prophet named Jonah. A prophet is someone God speaks to in a special way. A long time ago, these prophets would give God’s message to God’s people. Jonah loved God and God loved Jonah.
One day, God spoke to Jonah and said, “I want you to go to the city of Ninevah and tell the people to stop doing bad things. Tell them that if they will pray and ask for forgiveness, I will forgive them.”
Jonah did not like this message from God. The people of Ninevah were some of the meanest people he had ever known and Jonah did not think they deserved God’s forgiveness. Instead of going to the people of Ninevah like God said, Jonah decided to run the other way!
Jonah boarded a boat headed AWAY from Ninevah. He thought that he could run from God! But while Jonah was on the boat, a huge storm came! The sailors and the other travelers on the boat were scared that they were going to die!! Jonah knew what was happening…God had sent the storm because Jonah had disobeyed God.
Jonah told the captain, “This storm is my fault because I disobeyed God. If you will throw me overboard, the storm will stop.” The captain didn’t want to throw Jonah off of the ship! He might drown! But Jonah promised the captain that if he threw him off of the ship, the storm would stop and they would be saved. So, the captain and his crew threw Jonah overboard into the ocean.
Jonah was going down, down, down until suddenly, he was sucked into the mouth a large fish! GULP! The fish swallowed Jonah! Jonah was alive, but he was in the smelly belly of a big fish! Jonah should have obeyed God!
I’m sure Jonah hated to be stuck in the smelly belly of a big ‘ole fish. I’m also sure that Jonah wished he had obeyed God in the first place. It’s always important to obey what we’re told to do. The Bible says that Jonah was in the big fish’s belly for 3 days and 3 nights!! EWWW! Next week, we’ll learn what happened to Jonah next!