Posts Tagged ‘Jonah’

Jonah and Nineveh

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God’s Grace Extends Beyond Israel’s Borders

 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
Romans 1:16

(Open the bible and read to your child the book of Jonah) Jonah was a prophet, who God wanted to use to save the city of Nineveh. This city was so wicked that Jonah didn’t want to go there, so he fled from God on a ship headed the opposite direction. As we know, God will pursue us, and the same was true for Jonah. God made a storm so severe that the people on the ship grew fearful. This caused them to throw Jonah overboard, which immediately calmed the sea. Jonah was swallowed by a fish, and stayed in the belly for three days. Afterwards, Jonah warned the city of Nineveh and they repented. However, Jonah was angry because he felt they should perish. God reminded Jonah that he loves all of us, and will pursue all of us in order for us to spend eternity with him.

The Jesus Connection:
Read Matthew 12:39–40. Jesus tells us that the three days Jonah spent in the belly of a fish was a picture foretelling the time that Jesus’ crucified body would be in the grave before the resurrection. God had a plan to rescue Jonah from his sin of disobedience. God’s plan for Jonah involved three days swallowed up in a fish. Jonah found his salvation in God. In the end Jonah was released and went on to preach repentance to Nineveh. God has a plan to rescue us from our sin through Jesus. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and spent three days in the grave swallowed up by death. But death could not hold him, and on the third day he rose again. Now the message of repentance and faith in Christ is proclaimed all over the world. The question for us is, will we trust in him?


Jonah Complains About God’s Compassion

Key Verse

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance”
(2 Peter 3:9)

Our hope is for kids to know that: God wants us to love everyone

(Open the bible and read to your child Jonah 3:10-4:11) Jonah had just completed the task that God had asked him to do. As a result the entire city of Nineveh turned form their ways and were saved. This made Jonah angry. He thought the Ninevites should be punished for all the bad that they did. In Jonah’s eyes it wasn’t fair that the Ninevites escaped punishment. God was not pleased with Jonah’s bad attitude, he should be happy that the people of the city were saved! What made it worst was when Jonah complained about the vine withering away. He cared more about the vine than he did the people of Nineveh! God wanted Jonah to have compassion for the people of Nineveh, just as God has compassion on us.

(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Describe a time you treated a difficult person with kindness and patience.How did the person respond? Talk with your kids about why it’s sometimes difficult to be kind to certain people. Ask your kids to tell about people they have a hard time loving. Then have your family members each share one way they can be compassionate and show God’s love to that person this week.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Gather your family and go online and search for news stories describing people in need of compassion. Ask family members to choose the news stories that prompt a feeling of compassion in them. Give everyone a chance to choose at least three stories. It would be ideal if everyone could choose a local, national, and international news story of people needing compassion. When everyone has identified three news stories, talk about the following: • What type of news stories prompted feelings of compassion in you? Did you find it easier to care about local people or people far away? Explain. We can always show compassion by praying for people in need. Take a few moments now and pray for the people in the news stories.