He tried to run and hide from God,
Somewhere God would never find him,
In a boat to a distant shore,
So he wouldn’t have to mind him.

But then an awful storm blew up,
And the crew began to worry.
Jonah knew that he could save them
But that he would have to hurry.

He had them toss him overboard
Into the stormy churning sea.
He said, “The storm is all my fault,
Because God’s very mad at me.”

But God wasn’t through with Jonah;
He had much more for him to do.
He said, “Jonah, you’re not finished.
I will tell you when you are through.”

God made a great big hungry fish
That had a great big roomy tummy.
The fish took one look at Jonah,
And decided he’d be yummy.

Jonah told God he was sorry,
From deep inside his smelly room.
It was dark and cold and clammy;
He didn’t want it for his tomb.

God gave the fish a belly ache
And made him upchuck on the shore.
The fish left Jonah lying there
All covered up with muck and gore.

The lesson God wants you to learn,
When you read Jonah and the whale,
Is that when God has plans for you,
He isn’t going to let you fail.

So never try to hide from God,
When he has things for you to do.
Or he might make another fish
That’s big enough to upchuck you!

Did Jonah’s sojourn in the belly of a whale really occur? Many Bible scholars refer to the story as a parable. Biologists have long claimed that the throat of a whale is too small for a man-sized object to pass through, but Ripley, of Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not fame, tells of a crew member from a whaling ship actually living through such an ordeal.

My favorite Jonah story is about the little girl trying to defend the story to her school teacher. She finally said that she would ask Jonah when she got to heaven. The teacher said, “What if Jonah didn’t go to Heaven, what if he went to Hell?” The little girl replied, “Then you can ask him!” The Little Girl’s Jonah story can be found in verse form in It Came Knocking, my book of poems for children.


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