the story of Jonah and the Giant Fish
as told by Jenna Winship
One day, long ago, God told a man named Jonah to go to the town of Nineveh. Jonah did NOT want to go to Nineveh because the people who lived there were very mean. Nineveh was a town filled with bullies. Jonah did not like the people of Nineveh, and he didn’t want God to love them. So, when God told him to go and tell the people of Nineveh about his love, Jonah ran the other way!
Jonah ran so far that he ran right onto a boat in the sea! He thought that would be a good way to run away from God, so God wouldn’t ask him to go to Nineveh anymore.
While Jonah was on the boat, a huge storm came. The wind was blowing so hard that the boat was close to breaking in half.
All of the people on the boat decided that Jonah was bad luck and he was the reason for the huge storm. So you know what they did? They threw Jonah right off the boat.
He was falling into the sea, swirling around in the water, when all of a sudden, a huge fish ate him! Jonah stayed in the belly of the fish for three days. While he was in there, he prayed to God - and God saved him from the fish’s belly.
God told Jonah again to go to Nineveh and tell the people about his love. Jonah did not run away this time. He went to Nineveh and told the people about God.
When the people of Nineveh heard about God, they knew what they needed to do. They chose to not bully anymore and they were so thankful to have God’s love.
But Jonah was angry. Jonah didn’t think the bullies deserved to be loved by God. Jonah yelled at God, “this is why I didn’t want to come to Nineveh! I knew you would be kind to the people here, and they do not deserve your love!”
God’s love is so big that He loves even the meanest bullies.
It’s hard for us to love people who are mean to us, but God wants us to join him in loving everyone - just like he asked Jonah to join him in loving the people of Nineveh.