Fall Quarter - TODDLER LESSON - WEEK 38

Jonah Gets Himself into Trouble! (Jonah and the Whale)

Concepts Children Learn:
I can't run from God - He always sees me.
Its always best to obey God the first time.
If I get in trouble, the best thing to do is pray!

Prep: Cut 4 strips of paper, each with "Jonah" written on it. Make up a sample of these crafts: Lift-the-flap whale craft (5), and Big Mouth Whale Craft (4) to use in the lesson. (Directions on the Craft Page). Also print the other story pages: 1, 2, 3 or 3 color, 4, 4a, 5, 6, 7, 8. Make extra copies of the crafts and story pages that you want to use for crafts or coloring pages. Have a Bible marked with today's Memory verse Psalm 139:7-8. The numbers in parentheses tell you what craft sample or picture to show for that part of the story. Only read words in bold. The words in parentheses tell you what actions you do.

LESSON: Time: About 41/2 minutes with actions

Have your Bible or a children's Bible marked with the memory verse to read during Circle Talk Time: Memory Verse: Psalm 139:7-8. (Show the children how to point up and down when verse 8 says up and down to help them remember it). Scriptures used as reference for the lesson: Jonah 1:1 - 3:10.

Have any of you ever tried to run away from your mom or dad when you didn't want to do something they told you to do? Well, this story is about a man who tried to run away from God. (1)This is Jonah. In Bible Times, Jonah was a preacher. He told the people about God. One day, God told Jonah to go to a city called Nineveh to preach to the people there. (Point to edge of the paper by Ninevah). The people in Ninevah were very, very bad. And, God was angry with them. But, God, wanted to give them a chance to say they were sorry. But, Jonah didn't like these people that lived in Nineveh. (Shake head no). He didn't think they should get another chance. So, Jonah said, "No, I won't go to Nineveh to tell those people what God says." (Shake head no). Jonah did not obey God. Instead of going to Nineveh, he ran away (Run in place) Let's all stand up and run in place!

He hopped on a boat that was going the other way! Jonah thought God wouldn't be able lto see him if he got on a boat and sailed far away. He thought he could hide from God. (Put hands over eyes). Can you show me how you hide? (Encourage children to "hide" with you). But, God did see Jonah. And, soon a storm came. The boat was tossed back and forth, back and forth. (Grasp forearms with opposite hands; show children how to "rock their boats" back and forth). The wind blew so hard that the boat was starting to break! The waves rose higher and higher! (Place hand incrementally higher in front of you). And, the boat was sinking lower and lower. (Place hand incrementally lower in front of you). Soon the men on the boat would all drown! But, where was Jonah when all this was happening? Everybody looked for Jonah. Jonah was at the bottom of the boat hiding from God! And Jonah was sleeping! "Jonah", the men said, "how can you sleep through this storm! Get up, Jonah, get up and pray!" The men on the boat did not want to die, so they picked straws to see who was causing the storm. (Place strips of paper with names on them in your had). I am holding some names. Who wants to pick a name for me, so we can see who was the cause of the storm. (Have a child pick one of the slip of paper in your hand, and read it to the class). It says JONAH! Everybody stared at Jonah. I think Jonah probably felt ashamed and turned red. Jonah admitted that he was running away from God. (Look down, ashamed). Jonah told them they should throw him out of the boat. Then everybody else would be safe from the storm. So that is what the men on the boat did. (2) They threw Jonah over the side of the boat! Then... suddenly, everything was quiet. Sh-h-h-h! (Place finger on mouth, and whisper) The storm stopped! (Look surprised). Wow! Now the men on the boat knew that God was real! They all got down on their knees and worshipped God. Do you think they said, Thank you, God, for saving us? I think they did.

(3) Let's see how Jonah is doing down in the water. Uh-Oh! (Put hand over mouth). Look at that big whale! (Point to whale). He looks hungry! I think he wants to eat Jonah for lunch. And, Jonah looks really scared, doesn't he?! (Point to Jonah). What's going to happen to Jonah now!? (4) (Place Jonah inside whale, make gulping sound, then move paper in and out to show Jonah in whale's mouth). Oh, no! The big whale swallowed Jonah! Poor Jonah! I hope he is o.k. (5) Let's look inside the whale and see what Jonah is going to do now! Who wants to lift up the flap for me? (Pick a child to open flap on whale). Oh, look! Jonah is praying inside the whale's tummy. I think that is a very good thing for Jonah to do right now, don't you? (Shake head yes). He sure does need God's help, doesn't he? Well, Jonah was inside that whale for three days and three nights! Who can show me how many three is? (hold up 3 fingers). That's a long time to be inside of a stinky old whale! But God was watching over Jonah. Jonah told God that he now he would to do whatever God told him to do. "But, please just get me out of this big whale", Jonah prayed. Well, God heard Jonah's prayers, even from inside the whale's tummy. (Cup your ear). And, God kept Jonah safe inside the whale. (6) Then God caused the whale to spit Jonah onto the soft sandy, beach. P-f-f-f-t-t! (Make spitting sound). And one more time, God told Jonah to go to Nineveh to preach to the people. So, this time when God told Jonah to go, what do you think he did? That's right. This time, he obeyed God. Jonah went to Ninevah and preached to the people (7). He told them to stop doing the bad things they were doing. (Shake your finger). And, do you know what happened? The people got on their knees. They prayed to God (place hands together), and told him how sorry they were. And, God forgave all the bad things those people had done. He gave them another chance. How happy they were that Jonah had come to preach to them! And, Jonah was so happy, too, to be out of that smelly, old whale! Now Jonah would obey God the first time God told him to do something. (Shake head yes).

CIRCLE TIME: (What does this mean for me?)

Did you like that story? I did too. Jonah sure did get himself in a lot of trouble, didn't he? I guess we can't really run away from God, can we? God found Jonah even though he was hiding on the bottom of a boat. God cares about us so much that he sees us wherever we are. Here's a good verse to help us remember that: (Read Psalm 139: 7-8. Show the children how to point up and down when verse 8 says up and down to help them remember it). (8) And, God hears our prayers wherever we are too. Where was Jonah when God heard his prayers? (Give children a chance to answer). Very good. God heard Jonah's prayers even though he was inside the whale's tummy. And, God loved Jonah. So God helped Jonah. Just like God helps us when we need his help. God told the whale to spit Jonah onto the soft sand. Do you think Jonah said "Thank you" to God after being inside that stinky old whale? (Give children a chance to answer). I do too. After all that trouble, I bet Jonah wished he had never tried to run away from God. So we learn that its always best to obey God the first time. But God gave Jonah another chance. This time when God told Jonah to go to Nineveh, Jonah did go and preach to the people. Who can tell me what the people did after Jonah preached to them? (Give children a chance to answer). That's right. The people prayed and told God they were sorry. They quit doing bad things and listened to God instead. And, God forgave them. So, what is the best thing to do when we are in trouble? (Give children a chance to answer). PRAY! That's right. That's the very first thing to do! God loves us so much, and he will help us. We can always depend on God. THE END.

PRAYER: Allow children to take turns praying after you or a helper prays.

PRAYER: Dear God,

wherever I am,

Thank you for

and that you hear my prayers,
watching over me. Wherever I am.
Please help me remember In Jesus' name,
that you see me Amen.
Activities Page, Crafts Page.

© copyright Virginia Sigle / Bible Kids Fun Zone