Jonah was a prophet. One day God asked Jonah to go to a place called Ninevah and tell the people living there to live with knowing God in their hearts. But, Jonah did not want to help the people there so he ran away and got on a ship sailing across the Mediterranean Sea. Shortly after the boat left shore, there was a very large storm. Jonah was just sleeping in the bottom of the boat. Then the sea got rougher and it became a larger storm and the storm washed water over the boat and tossed the board up in the air. The sailors were afraid but Jonah knew what to do. He said “the sea is very rough because I have disobeyed God. Throw me overboard and you will live.” But they did not want Jonah to die. “It is the only way,” said Jonah. So, the sailors threw him over the side of a ship. But what was outside the boat? A great big whale. This whale saw Jonah and swallowed him whole. Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three full days and three full nights.
While he was in the whale, he thought about God, and what he had done, and knew that he had not been doing his best. He knew that he had to do what was best for himself and the people of Ninevah. He thought about how he has run away. He was grateful that he did not drown. God forgave Jonah and the whale spit Jonah out onto the land and the whale swam away. Jonah was happy to be out of the dark belly of the fish, but boy, did he need a shower. He was slimy and smelly.
So Jonah went to the town of Ninevah and told the people that they needed to understand that they needed to do the right thing. Jonah was happy that the people listened to him and they were grateful to God and sorry for the bad things they had done. Everyone knew that god loved them and their city would not be destroyed.