(presented by: Naomi Blankenship)

       A long time ago, there was a prophet named Jonah who was a man called of God.  God told Jonah to go to a great city called Nineveh and cry out against them because of their many wicked sins. Instead of doing what God had requested of him, Jonah went in another direction towards a city called Tarshish in an attempt to flee from what God had told him to do.

     Instead Jonah journeyed  to Joppa to board a ship to Tarshish. He paid his fare and boarded the ship ignoring God.


      The Lord was displeased with Jonah trying to get away from doing what He had told him to do.  So, He sent out a great wind onto the waters around the ship.  The ship began to toss to and fro upon the waters as the wind increased and became very fierce and threatening.    

      The men in the ship were fearful that the ship would break apart.  So, they began to ask every man if there was something that they had done that would cause such fierceness to come upon the ship.  Every man began to call upon their god.  As the storm raged on, they threw all the ship’s contents overboard trying to lighten the load and save themselves.

     The shipmaster came down into the ship where Jonah was sleeping and ask him, "What meanest thou, O sleeper?  Arise, call upon thy God, if so that God will think upon us that we perish not."

      The men of the ship began to cast lots so they would know which man had brought this evil upon the ship and upon them.  So, when they cast lots, the lot fell upon Jonah.  The men rushed to Jonah and ask him why this evil had come upon them that the ship and their lives were in perilous danger.  They wanted to know what his occupation was and what location he came from.  They also wanted to know his nationality.

      Jonah told them, "I am a Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land."  Then, the men of the ship were very afraid and asked him, "Why hast thou done this?" The the men remembered him telling them that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord.

     The men ask Jonah, "What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us?"  And he told them, "Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you; for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you."

     The men continued fighting with fear and trembling to try and control the ship, but they could not.  They called upon the Lord, but the tempest continued.  Then, they knew they must cast Jonah into the raging sea to calm the waters and save the ship.  So, they cast him overboard into the roaring sea, and miraculously the sea calmed.

     The Lord had prepared a great fish, (a whale), to swallow Jonah up.  He was in the big fish for three days and three nights.  Then, Jonah prayed to the Lord out of the fish’s belly.  Jonah declared, "I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice." 

     Jonah had been cast into the deep sea and the flood waters encompassed him and the waves passed over him.  The seaweed wrapped about his head.  He was taken down to the bottom of the mountains underneath the sea.  Yet, through all this the Lord heard Jonah’s prayers and brought him out of the depths of the sea. 

     Jonah then understood that whenever someone forsakes the Lord for their own pleasure and comfort, and doesn’t do what He tells them to do, they forsake their own mercy from the Lord.

     Jonah cried out and praised the Lord and gave Him thanks for  forgiving him for running away from what he was told to do.  Then, the Lord spoke to the whale, and it vomited Jonah upon dry land. 

     Once again, the Word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time and told him to go to Nineveh.  However, this time Jonah decided he would do as the Lord instructed him.  In doing so, he would have to travel three days journey to get to Nineveh. 

     As Jonah entered the city he began to prophesy, "Forty days and the city will be overthrown."  So, the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. 

     The king of Nineveh also left his throne to fast.  He pulled off his robe, and put on sackcloth, and sat in ashes.  A decree was sent out by the king and his nobles throughout all Nineveh that man nor beast, herd nor flock taste anything.  They could not eat nor drink water.  All the people and the beasts were to cover themselves with sackcloth and turn from their evil ways and from the violence in the land. "Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?"

     God saw their works, that they turned from their evil ways; and God repented of the evil, that He had said He would do unto them; and therefore did it not.

     Remember to always do the good things and follow correct instruction from your parents and from the Lord.  Do not lie, cheat, or steal because God is watching you.  Be respectful of others, as the Lord is respectful of you.  God may extend mercy for you as He did for Jonah, if you only call upon His name.

       If Jesus (Yeshua) has touched your heart and you would like to accept Him as your personal Lord and Savior, please just