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God sends Jonah to Nineveh

Jonah, Nineveh, the great fish and God's forgiveness.
Contributed by Sweet Publishing
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Simplified Chinese
Jonah was a prophet of God who preached to Jews living in Israel. He told them that God wanted them to stop worshipping false idols and obey Him. He knew that God would forgive those repented of their sin. – Slide 1
Then one God told Jonah he wanted him to go on a long journey to the city of Nineveh and tell them God wanted them to repent also. If they did not God would destroy Nineveh. – Slide 2
Now Nineveh was the capital city of the Assyrian Empire and it’s people were very wicked. They were a powerful nation and enemies of the Jewish nation. Jonah did not want God to forgive these people. He wanted God to destroy them. – Slide 3
So instead of going to Nineveh, Jonah headed for the port of Joppa and got on a boat. – Slide 4
The boat was heading across the Mediterranean Sea to Tarshish – which was as far away in the opposite direction from Nineveh that you could go. – Slide 5
God was displeased with Jonah and sent a terrible storm. The wind was so fierce and the waves so big, the boat was about to sink. The frightened sailors threw all the cargo overboard to keep it afloat. – Slide 6
The storm continued to get worse. Finally Jonah confessed to the sailors, ‘This storm is all my fault for I have run away from the Lord. Throw me into the sea and it will calm down.’ – Slide 7
The sailors didn’t want to throw Jonah overboard but the storm continued and it was their only hope of survival. They took Jonah and threw him over the side of the boat into the deep sea. – Slide 8
Immediately the wind dropped and the sea became calm. Jonah sunk under the water. But God has not finished with His disobedient prophet. He has prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah and keep him alive. – Slide 9
Deep in the belly of this huge fish Jonah cried out to God for help. He told God how sorry he was for disobeying Him. – Slide 10
Three days and nights later the fish vomited Jonah up onto dry land. God had forgiven him and spared his life. – Slide 11
Once again God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and warn them that if they did not repent then God would destroy their city. This time Jonah obeyed. – Slide 12
When he arrived in the city Jonah started preaching, ‘In forty days God is going to destroy the city of Nineveh.’ – Slide 13
Rather than laugh at the prophet, the people of Nineveh listed and repented. – Slide 14
Even the mighty King of Nineveh took off his fine robes, put on sackcloth and ashes and begged God to spare them. – Slide 15
God showed mercy to the Assyrians when they repented. This made Jonah very angry as he wanted God to destroy these enemies of the Jewish people. ‘I knew you would forgive them,’ he complained to God. ‘That is why I did not want to come here and preach to them.’ – Slide 16
Jonah went out to a hill overlooking the city and build a shelter. He watched and waited to see if God would destroy the city. That night a vine grew up and it sheltered Jonah from the hot sun the next day. But the next day God sent a worm to destroy the vine and it withered and died. – Slide 17
Jonah had no shelter from the hot east wind that blew and got very angry and sulked. ‘I wish I were dead,’ he bitterly complained to God. ‘You feel sorry for yourself when your shelter is destroyed, though you did plant it or care for it,’ God replied. ’So why shouldn’t I feel sorry for a great city like Nineveh with its 120,000 people in utter spiritual darkness.’ – Slide 18
Slide 19