This one year study thru the Bible for kids is designed to hit the highlights and provide practical application. I encourage you to read the whole section of scripture (Jonah 3) while we focus in on just a few verses.
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.
After Jonah reluctantly warns the evil Ninevites to repent or else face the wrath of God, they do something that Jonah as afraid of…
Ask the children…
How did the people of Niniveh respond to Jonah’s message?
“The people of Nineveh believed God’s message, and from the greatest to the least, they declared a fast and put on burlap to show their sorrow.” (Jonah 3:5)
How did the king of Nineveh respond?
“When the king of Nineveh heard what Jonah was saying, he stepped down from his throne and took off his royal robes. He dressed himself in burlap and sat on a heap of ashes.“ (Jonah 3:6)
God is so concerned even about those who do evil that he sends his prophet Jonah to warn them of judgement. Jonah doesn’t want to tell them because he knows that God will forgive them if they repent. And when they do repent they are forgiven and Jonah is upset.
Ask your children if they know someone that seems so evil that it is hard for them to believe that they could repent and turn to God? Would they be willing to go and tell them about God’s offer of forgiveness and new life? Remind them that just like the Ninevites God wants to bring these people into a relationship with Himself.
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.