Maybe think of this as a creative writing project. I’m not entirely sure what my motivation for this endeavor is, perhaps divine inspiration. I have an 11-year-old at home and this is sort of a children’s sermon version of the Jonah Runs sermon I preached on Sunday. I printed it out for her and turned in her illustrated children’s Bible to Jonah 1. If you or anyone you know could be served by this series then please share and God bless.
Jonah for Kids
Part 1: Jonah Runs
Jonah is the story of a prophet that did not listen to God. In Jonah 1, he does exactly the opposite of what God tells him to do. When God spoke and told him to go to Nineveh and preach, he tried to flee (run away) from the presence of the Lord. It can’t be done and our hero will learn that lesson the hard way. Notice everything in chapter 1 goes down. He went down to Joppa, down in the lowest part of the ship where he then laid down and went to sleep. Later he is thrown into the sea. The Bible does not use the word down again but we can reason that he goes down into the sea and into the belly of the whale. When the chapter ends he is somewhere under the Meditterarranean Sea.
Even though Jonah was running from God, he had an effect on those around him. The mariners, or sailors, each had a god or gods that he prayed to when the storm hit. When they learned that the storm was caused by the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, they all prayed to him instead. After they throw Jonah off the boat, those men offered sacrifices and made vows to the LORD God. They saw his mighty works and believed in the true and the living God. Notice that in this chapter Jonah does not pray. He is still unwilling to acknowledge that God is in control. He wants to get away from God and is still not speaking to him at this time. The sailors on the ship have learned a lesson that Jonah the prophet is not ready to accept.
Finally notice what chapter 1 verse 17 says about the great fish. God prepared the fish, or perhaps your Bible says whale, to swallow Jonah. Even before God told Jonah to go to Nineveh he had been making preparations, possibly for a long time. God knows what he is doing. God is in control. We can trust that anything he asks us to do he has prepared for our needs so his will can be accomplished.