The story of Jonah and Ninevah is such a great demonstration of how much God loves sinners. The Ninevites were a violent, pagan people that Jonah had good reason to dislike. God gave them a second chance, just like He gave us. Praise God for His amazing grace and mercy!
HIGHLIGHTS from Sunday…
This week your child learned that God wants us to obey Him when He calls us and that He wants us to obey the first time. The Lord called to Jonah and told him to go to Nineveh to tell the people to stop doing bad things, but Jonah didn’t want to go. He tried to run from the Lord by getting on a boat headed to another city. A storm came and it would not subside. The men on the boat asked Jonah why this was happening. He told them he was trying to run away from the Lord. The storm got worse and the men decided to throw Jonah overboard. Once they threw him into the ocean, the sea quickly calmed down and the storm ended. Then the Lord provided a big fish to swallow Jonah. Jonah lived in its belly for three days. Finally, Jonah asked God for forgiveness and the fish spit him onto dry land. Jonah then obeyed God. He went to Nineveh and did what God commanded.
- God wants us to obey Him.
- We cannot hide from God.
- God loves us even when we do wrong things.
“Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” - Jeremiah 33:3 (NASB)
Here’s a simple song to help your child (and you) memorize this week’s memory verse!
3 Activities that remind us that God wants us to obey Him:
1. Make a FishSave and clean a large Styrofoam cup and lid (like the ones from Chick-Fil-A) to be the ―big fish in the story. Find several tiny dolls/people to be Jonah and the sailors. Decorate the cup with tissue paper, sequins, wiggly eyes— it can be as simple or elaborate as your child wants. Put the sailors in a bowl and act out the story...Jonah joins the sailors...the sea gets rough...they talk to Jonah about it and then toss him out...the sea calms...a fish swallows Jonah (the lid is the fish’s mouth)...Jonah prays…fish spits him out onto dry land...Jonah obeys God.
2. Act it OutReenact the story using your couch and a bean bag/large pillow. Choose someone in your family or use the kids from your community group to be Jonah. Everyone else will be the sailors in the boat (sitting on the couch). When Jonah joins you on the couch, start swaying back and forth. Discuss why this is happening (you’ll have to be fairly loud since the waves are crashing into your boat and the wind is howling!) Gently ―toss Jonah to the bean bag (big fish). The people on the couch stop swaying and offer a sigh of relief. Jonah prays to God, jumps onto ―dry land, and goes to Nineveh (a nearby room) to tell the people to stop doing bad things.
3. Jonah & the Whale Song
Teach your child about Jonah & the whale by learning a new song to the tune of ―London Bridge.
Jonah was swallowed by a whale
By a whale, by a whale.
Jonah was swallowed by a whale,
Jonah prayed to God above
God above, God above.
Jonah prayed to God above
And was forgiven!
Lord, I know that when I choose to disobey my parents, I’m choosing to disobey You. Please help me to always obey quickly and completely.
Image via Flickr Creative Commons