Background: Jonah lived during the time that the Assyrians were brutally mistreating those nations around them. Jonah couldn’t believe that God would want him to go and preach a message of repentance to the people of Assyria’s capital city, Nineveh. He just wasn’t going to do it.
Ask the children…
So how did Jonah respond to God request to preach repentance to this evil people?
“But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the Lord by sailing to Tarshish.” (Jonah 1:3)
How did that work out?
“But the Lord hurled a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to break the ship apart. 5 Fearing for their lives, the desperate sailors shouted to their gods for help and threw the cargo overboard to lighten the ship.“ (Jonah 1:4)
Running from God is not a good plan for two reasons: (1) You can never run far enough or fast enought to get away from God; (2) What God has in mind for you is better for you and than any other plan you might have.
Ask your children if they have ever run from God? Why? How did it work out? Thank God that we can trust Him with all the plans He has for our lives no matter how crazy they may appear to be.
If you like what you read about ways to teach children the Bible, check out the children’s book, Hooked on the Book, on this website. It is great for parents and kids because it provides the Big Story of God’s miraculous plan for His children in all 66 books in the Bible. CHECK OUT A FREE SAMPLE OF CHAPTER ONE BELOW.