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Jonah and the large fish

When Jonah runs away rather than go to Nineveh he is swallowed by a great fish.
Contributed by Moody Publishers
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In Bible times Nineveh was the capital of the nation of Assyria. This great city was large in size and population. – Slide 1
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But for many years those living in Nineveh had become more and more wicked. – Slide 2
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The King was a powerful man of war and his armies were conquering first one country then the next as the Assyrian Empire grew. Everyday they were getting closer and closer to the borderland of Israel – Slide 3
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The people in Israel were afraid of the Assyrians. There had never been any friendliness between the two nations because of the differences in the ways they lived. – Slide 4
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The people of Israel worshipped God and their faith was at the centre of all they thought and believed. – Slide 5
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The people of Nineveh did not worship God but images made out of stone. – Slide 6
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Living in the land of Israel was a prophet of God called Jonah who delivered messages from God to the people. – Slide 7
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One day God gave Jonah a message he did not want to deliver. God told Jonah to go to the people in Nineveh and tell them God had seen their wickedness and was going to destroy the city. – Slide 8
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Jonah did not want to warn the enemies of his people that Nineveh was going to be destroyed. Why should they be warned? Why didn’t God just go ahead and destroy Nineveh? – Slide 9
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Jonah decided to ignore God and headed in the opposite direction from Nineveh to the coast. – Slide 10
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He boarded a boat heading for Tarshish in Spain as far away as he could get from Nineveh. – Slide 11
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Soon he was out at sea and could put what he should be doing right out of his mind. – Slide 12
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But can you run away from God? Jonah thought he could. – Slide 13
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He went down into the ship and was soon fast asleep. – Slide 14
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While Jonah slept God caused a storm the likes of which the sailors had never seen before. – Slide 15
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They fell to their knees and cried out to their gods to spare their lives. – Slide 16
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But the wind blew harder and stronger. – Slide 17
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The captain knew that their boat would not last through a storm like this. So he woke Jonah and told him to call on his God to save them. – Slide 18
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But how could Jonah call on God when he was running away from him? – Slide 19
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In desperation the crew of the ship drew lots to find out who was responsible for the trouble they were in. – Slide 20
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And it just so happened that Jonah was shown to be the guilty one. The sailors demanded to know who he was and what he had done to upset God. – Slide 21
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Jonah confessed to them what he had done and begged them to throw him overboard before they were all lost. – Slide 22
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The sailors took hold of Jonah and threw his overboard. Immediately the storm stopped. – Slide 23
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As Jonah floundered in the sea God sent a great fish that he had prepared. – Slide 24
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The great fish completely swallowed Jonah – Slide 25
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Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and nights. He prayed to God asking for forgiveness. – Slide 26
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Then the Lord spoke to the fish and it vomited Jonah out onto dry land. – Slide 27
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God repeated His instruction for Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh. This time Jonah obeyed. – Slide 28
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Jonah went boldly into the city and cried out, ‘In 40 days Nineveh will be destroyed.’ – Slide 29
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He walked throughout Nineveh warning of God’s judgment on the city. The people listened and believed what Jonah told them. They proclaimed a fast to repent of their wickedness. – Slide 30
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When the King heard about Jonah’s message he became aware of the ways he had disobeyed God. – Slide 31
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The King was so sorry for his wickedness he took off his rich royal garments. – Slide 32
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Then he put on sackcloth and sat in ashes pleading with God to show mercy. – Slide 33
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All over the city people followed the example of the king and pleaded with God to forgive them. God heard their prayers and because he is a God of mercy he spared them and did not destroy Nineveh. The Lord is good; His mercy is Everlasting. Psalm 100:5a (1 John 1:8-9). – Slide 34
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