Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh when God told him to in chapter 1. In Jonah 4 we find out why. It’s because he knew that God was patient and kind. He knew that God would offer mercy and what he wanted to see was the wicked and violent people of Nineveh get what they deserved. That is never what God wants.
If you have read about Jonah in a Children’s Bible or heard about him in a Sunday School lesson or Vacation Bible School, it was probably chapter 1 and maybe chapter 2 that you learned about. In Jonah for Kids Part 1, based on Jonah chapter 1 in the Bible, there is a storm at sea and Jonah is thrown off a ship. He is swallowed by a great fish – perhaps you’ve heard whale, it’s not worth arguing about because that is not the point – and all of that happens in just the first chapter. In Part 2/chapter 2 we learn that after three days in the fish’s belly Jonah decided it was time to pray. Children, adults, Old Testament prophets; stubbornness is common among many different people. You may have never read or heard about what happened next. Jonah’s story is not done and if you are willing to keep reading we can continue this journey together.
Begin by reading Jonah chapter 2, either in your own Bible or one online.
Have you ever put something off that you didn’t want to do? It might have been homework, washing the dishes, cleaning your room, mowing the grass or any number of things. You planned to do it later, just not right then. Later the job has gotten bigger so you really don’t want to do it. If you keep putting it off then the assignment will come due, you will run completely out of dishes or the grass will be so tall it is almost impossible to cut. Sometimes we know what the right thing to do is but putting it off until later keeps making things worse.
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.
I spend a lot of time online. I do all of my Bible study and sermon prep online. I blog and update the church website. I also spend time watching YouTube videos and scrolling through Facebook and Twitter. I’ve seen a lot of memes lately, like the one shown here, about giving Eve the stink eye when meeting her in heaven. Sometimes people want to have a long theological discussion or engage in debate in a comment thread. Someone else’s comment thread is not the place for that kind of thing. This is the place for that kind of thing. Without being critical of anyone for having a sense or humor let’s be serious for a moment.
I recently saw a question online asking if Christians really believe Jesus came back from the dead. It was obvious that the question comes from the point of view that people don’t do that; come back to life that is. Jesus was a man, he died, and it seems unreasonable to think that he came back to life three days later. Maybe he was a wise teacher with many followers, maybe it is not crazy that we study his sermons and emulate his behavior but do we really believe he rose from the dead and appeared again alive to his disciples and others? Fasten your seatbelts.
The term cancel culture may be new to our vocabulary but the idea of silencing voices of those we do not want to hear is ancient. Jeremiah lived around 600 B.C. and was once thrown in a nearly dry well. There was no water but he sank into thick mud and could not free himself. On another occasion he wrote a letter of warning to King Jehoiakim who cut the scroll with a knife, a few lines at a time as it was read, and threw God’s word into the fire. Many of the Old Testament prophets were ignored, mocked, exiled or killed.
During the incarnation Jesus walked the earth robed in flesh. He ate food when he was hungry, drank water when he was thirsty, he experience physical and emotional pain because like us he lived in a body of flesh and blood. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.-Hebrews 4:15
Have you ever finished reading a really good book with mixed feelings? You enjoyed reading the book, were excited to reach the conclusion, but then realized you had no more of that book to read. After 13 weeks studying Hebrews that lesson series has come to end. If you missed one here or there, or didn’t want to pick up in the middle somewhere, you can easily start at the beginning and work through Hebrews at your own pace. Maybe you’d like to share the Hebrews study with a friend. Here are all the posts from that series conveniently arranged in order from start to finish:
This is the final chapter of Hebrews and the last post is this Bible Study series. Like many New Testament letters there are some parting words of wisdom and encouragement. Some of these wisdom sayings are similar to what we find in other letters but some are unique to Hebrews.