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The story of Jonah

Jonah learns about forgivenesss
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God told a prophet called Jonah to go into the land of the Assyrians who were enemies of God’s people. He was to go the large enemy city of Nineveh and tell them to stop doing wrong and turn to God for forgiveness. – Slide 1
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Jonah did not want to do this. He wanted God to punish His enemies, not give them a chance to turn away from doing wrong and be forgiven. – Slide 2
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So, Jonah ran away from God to the port of Jaffa where there was a boat set to sail for Tarshish – a place a long way away from Nineveh. – Slide 3
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He paid the fare and got on the boat. – Slide 4
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And the boat sailed away in the opposite direction from where God wanted Jonah to be. – Slide 5
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So, God sent a great storm which was so strong everyone was worried the boat might break up and sink. – Slide 6
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All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. – Slide 7
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But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, ‘How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.’ – Slide 8
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Then the sailors drew lots to find out who was responsible for this calamity. The name drawn out was Jonah.  <br/>So, they asked him, ‘Where are you from? Tell us what you have done to cause all this trouble. What can we do to make the sea calm again.’ – Slide 9
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Jonah explained he was a Jew who was running away from doing what God had asked him to do. – Slide 10
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‘Pick me up and throw me into the sea,’ Jonah replied, ‘and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.’ – Slide 11
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The sailors tried to row back to the land but it was impossible. They cried out, ‘Please Lord, do not let us die for taking Jonah’s life.’ Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. – Slide 12
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The sailors were amazed at God’s power to stop the storm and offered a sacrifice to worship Him. – Slide 13
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Now the Lord had prepared a huge fish to be in the sea where Jonah was thrown. – Slide 14
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The fish opened its mouth … – Slide 15
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… and swallowed Jonah. – Slide 16
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He went down into the belly of the great fish … – Slide 17
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… where he was trapped for three days and nights. From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God and told Him how sorry he was he had disobeyed and not gone to Nineveh. – Slide 18
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He thought his life was over as he prayed in the darkness with seaweed wrapped around his head.<br/>Everything seemed helpless. – Slide 19
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But as he prayed, Jonah remembered the Lord and became full of hope. He told God, ‘With shouts of praise I will carry out what I have promised. Salvation comes from the Lord!’ – Slide 20
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God commanded the great fish to swim towards land. – Slide 21
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Then the fish vomited Jonah onto the dry land. – Slide 22
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Then the God told Jonah a second time: ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and give the people my warning.’ – Slide 23
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This time Jonah obeyed and went to the great city of Nineveh which was full of wicked people who did not obey God. It took 3 days for Jonah to walk around the city. – Slide 24
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He told people, ‘In 40 days God is going to punish this city for being so disobedient.’ – Slide 25
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The people in Nineveh believed God. They showed how sorry they were by not eating and putting on clothes made of cheap sackcloth. – Slide 26
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When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. <br/>The King announced, ‘Let everyone pray to God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may see how sorry we are. Rather than punish us He may relent and show love and forgiveness. – Slide 27
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Jonah was still hoping God would punish the Assyrians who were enemies of his people. But when God saw how they turned from their evil ways, He relented and decided not to bring on them the destruction He had threatened. <br/>This made Jonah very annoyed. – Slide 28
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He complained to God: ‘I knew this would happen. It is why I quickly ran away to Tarshish. I knew that you are a God who is kind and shows mercy. You don’t become angry quickly. You have great love. I knew you would rather forgive than punish them.  <br/>He went and sat down outside the city hoping that God would still destroy Nineveh. – Slide 29
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Jonah waited to see what would happen to the city. The Lord made a plant grow quickly up over Jonah. This made a cool place for him to sit. And it helped him to be more comfortable. Jonah was very pleased to have the plant for shade. – Slide 30
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The next day the sun rose. And God sent a worm to attack the plant. Then the plant died. The sun be-came very hot on Jonah’s head. And he became very weak. He wished he was dead.  <br/>God said this to Jonah: ‘Do you think it is right for you to be angry because the plant died?’ <br/>Jonah answered, ‘It is right for me to be angry! I will stay angry until I die!’ – Slide 31
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The Lord said, ‘You showed concern for that plant. But you did not plant it or make it grow. It appeared in the night, and the next day it died. Surely, I can show concern for the great city Nineveh. There are many animals in that city. And there are more than 120,000 people living there. Those people simply do not know right from wrong!’ <br/>Jonah had nothing more to say. He had learnt a very hard lesson about God’s love and forgiveness. – Slide 32
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