Today’s story is about Jonah and the Big Fish and can be found in the Old Testament in the book of Jonah chapters 1-4. (Thank you Claire Hannington for this week’s Sunday School story)
There was a prophet called Jonah. One day, God said to him: ‘Warn the people of the great city of Ninevah about the consequences of their sins”
I won’t thought Jonah. I hate those people so he went to Joppa and boarded a ship sailing to Tarshish.
God knew Jonah was running away from Him. God sent a great storm. The ship began to break up. The sailors called their gods and threw the cargo into the sea to make the ship lighter. Jonah was sleeping. The captain scolded him: ‘How can you sleep? Pray to your god, we are sinking!”
Meanwhile the sailors drew lots to find out who had caused the storm. The lots showed it was Jonah! “Who are you asked the sailors, what work do you do?”
I am a Jew, said Jonah. I serve the Lord who made the sea and the earth. I am running away from God. You should throw me into the sea so that the storm can become calm.”
The sailors prayed ‘Oh Lord, don’t let us sink because of this man. Don’t make us kill him innocence. Do what You want to “. Then they threw him into the sea. Immediately the storm became calm. The sailors offered a sacrifice to God. God sent a great fish to swallow Jonah. He was in the stomach of the fish for three days and three nights. Inside the fish, Jonah Prayed “ Lord, You saved me. I am singing to praise you. I will now do what I promised. Then the fish spat Jonah out onto the beach. God again said to Jonah “Warn the people of Ninevah’”
Ninevah was such a big city that it took three days to walk through it. Jonah told the people in forty days, God will destroy Ninevah!”
This made the people of Ninevah think about their sins. They were sorry for their sins, they cried and stopped sinning.
When God saw that they were sorry for their sins. He decided not to destroy Ninevah. This made Jonah angry with God!
“That is just the way You are, Lord!” He said “It is because You are supposed to be merciful and a God and filled with love! I knew You wouldn’t punish these people.
Jonah built himself a shelter and sat outside Ninevah to see what would happen to the city. God made a plant grow to provide shade for Jonah. But the next morning a worm attacked the plant and the plant died. Shortly after this, God sent a scorching wind. The sun burnt Jonah and the hot wind blew. Jonah said “I wish I could die” And God asked him are you angry about the plant?” “Of course said Jonah, I am dying here”. Then God said you are upset about a plant even though you didn’t work for it. But am I not allowed to feel sorry for the great city of Ninevah where there are more than 120 000 people and many animals. And Jonah stopped being angry.