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Jonah runs away but God turns him back

Disobedient Jonah, the storm, the great fish and Nineveh.
Contributed by Rev. Henry Martin
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Polish, German, Hindi
Jonah was a prophet who went around telling the Jews to repent and obey God.
But then one day God asked him to preach the same message to the enemies of the Jews, the mighty Assyrians, in their capital city of Nineveh. – Slide 1
‘Get up and go to the city of Nineveh and preach to them, God said. ‘I have seen how wicked the people are and I can’t ignore it any longer.’ But Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh or help the Assyrians to turn away from their wickedness.  He wanted God to punish them. – Slide 2
So he headed in the opposite direction to the port of Joppa. He bought a ticket to sail to Tarshish (in modern day southern Spain). – Slide 3
But God sent a huge storm.  Mighty winds and crashing waves threatened to break the ship apart. Fearing for their lives, the desperate sailors shouted to their gods for help and threw the cargo overboard to lighten the ship. – Slide 4
When the captain of the ship found Jonah asleep below deck he shouted, ‘How can you sleep at a time like this? Get up!  Pray to your God! Maybe He will pay attention to you and spare our lives.’ – Slide 5
The sailors drew lots to find out who was to blame for the storm. Jonah’s name was drawn!
The sailors asked Jonah, ‘What should we do to you to stop this storm?’
‘Throw me into the sea and it will go calm,’ Jonah replied. ‘This terrible storm is all my fault.’ – Slide 6
The sailors were afraid and prayed, ‘O God! Don't let us drown because of this man, and don't blame us for his death.’ 
Then they took Jonah, threw him overboard and the sea became calm. – Slide 7
Jonah sank into the deep sea. – Slide 8
But the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah and keep him alive.
Jonah was in great distress and prayed to God, begging forgiveness. God heard his prayer and answered. Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights. – Slide 9
Then the Lord ordered the fish to spew Jonah out onto the beach. – Slide 10
Then the Lord spoke to Jonah again.  ‘Get up and go to the city of Nineveh, and deliver the message I have given you.’ This time, Jonah obeyed and told the Assyrians that if they did not stop their evil ways God would destroy Nineveh within 40 days. As soon as Jonah entered Nineveh and began to preach, the people repented, putting on sackcloth and ashes. – Slide 11
When the king of Nineveh heard what Jonah was saying, he also put on sackcloth, sat in ashes and repented. When God saw that they had put a stop to their evil ways, He abandoned his plan to destroy Nineveh and didn’t carry it through. – Slide 12
Slide 13