Jonah

Age 5+: Read Jonah 1-3
Under 5: Read about Jonah from a children's story bible or the short summary below.
God told Jonah to go to a place called Ninevah to tell the people there to change their ways. They were not loving God and keeping His commandments. But Jonah did not obey God. He ran away and boarded a ship and sailed out into the sea. He fell asleep on the ship. A big storm came and the people on the ship were afraid and started screaming, but Jonah remained asleep.

The men on the ship woke up Jonah. They knew Jonah was running away from God. The storm got worse. So Jonah told the men to thrown him overboard into the water. The men threw Jonah over the side of the ship and all at once the sea became calm. Then God sent a big fish to swallow Jonah. He stayed in the belly of the fish for 3 days and 3 nights. While Jonah was inside the fish, he prayed to God. He asked God to help him. He knew that God would hear his voice.

Then God told the fish to spit Jonah out onto dry land. God told Jonah to go to Ninevah. This time Jonah obeyed and went to tell the people of Ninevah that God is the One who saves. The people and their king listened to Jonah and stopped doing bad things, so God did not destroy them.
Discussion
Preschool questions:
Where did God tell Jonah to go? Ninevah.
Did Jonah obey God? No, he tried to run away.
How long was Jonah in the fish? 3 days and 3 nights.

Elementary questions:
Did God discipline Jonah for disobeying? Yes, he sent a great fish to swallow Jonah.
What did Jonah do after God disciplined him? He confessed his sin and received God's forgiveness.
Did God destroy the people of Ninevah? No, they repented because of God's warning from Jonah and God had mercy on them.

Preteen application:
How are we like Jonah? We love God, but sometimes we disobey.
The people of Ninevah repented. What does that mean? Repentance is more than just being sorry for your sins. It is a change of direction: away from disobedience and back to the Lord.

Memory Verse: Jonah 2:9 “Salvation comes from the Lord."

Journal (age 8+) Copy memory verse, write a consequence of not obeying God, and write down any prayer requests.

Journal (age 3+) Draw and color a picture of the Jonah and the great big fish. Copy memory verse if able.

Optional Activity: Color a white lunch bag and make fish eyes. Staple the crease of the bag to make the tail. Next draw a picture of Jonah and cut it out. You can draw the ship and the city of Ninevah too. Discuss the story again and use the props while you retell it.

Prayer: Praise and thank God, ask for forgiveness, submit any prayer requests.

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