After being given a second chance, Jonah goes to the city of Nineveh and preach to the people there. (See part 1 lesson here) The city of Nineveh was saved as a result of the message from God that was delivered by Jonah. Unfortunately, Jonah was not pleased with the success and was angry with God. In Jonah 4, God used a vine and a worm to teach Jonah about mercy. This story teaches us an important lesson about God’s character. He is a merciful God who is always willing to give us a second chance.
Some keys point we will learn are:
- God is Merciful
- We should proclaim God’s message
- We should care for others.
Lesson Guide – God’s Mercy Makes Jonah Angry
When Jonah disobeyed God, he was thrown overboard in the middle of a storm. Jonah would have died if God had not sent a fish to swallow him. God showed mercy to Jonah by having the fish save his life.
Mercy means to show compassion or forgiveness to someone when it is within one’s power to punish or harm that person. God could have punished Jonah and let him die in the sea, but He didn’t. God gave Jonah a second chance.
In Nineveh, the people repented of their sins and God showed mercy to them too. Was Jonah happy? No. He was angry. Should we be angry when God shows mercy to others after He showed mercy to us? No.
Play a board game with your child. Play a round where everyone follows the rules and then a second round where one player can ignore the rules. Discuss the way they felt during different games. When they were treated differently. Talk more about mercy as it relates to punishment, etc.
Jonah didn’t want to proclaim God’s message since he hated the people of Nineveh. He wanted them to be destroyed. That is why he ran in the wrong direction.
Explain that Christians have also been called to proclaim a message to others. We are told to tell others about Jesus. We should want everyone to be saved, not just people we like or get on with easily.
Jonah finally listened to God and preached to the people in Nineveh. They listened to the message he gave and repented. They said sorry to God for the wrong things they did and acted differently. But Jonah wasn’t happy that they listened and said sorry. Jonah wanted them to be destroyed.
Jonah was mad with God for forgiving the people in Nineveh even though he himself had been forgiven. Read and learn Ephesians 4:32 “Forgive each other as God in Christ forgave you.”
Talk about how we react when we are upset or mad. What is good to do when we feel upset and what actions are wrong to do when upset. Jonah went outside the city to sulk.
Talk about your favourite plants. Does your child have a favourite plant? You may choose take a short walk to look at different plants or look at some photos.
God made the plant grow to teach Jonah a lesson. First the plant provided shade for Jonah, but then God allowed the plant to be destroyed. He was using the plant to teach Jonah a lesson about caring for others. Jonah cared more about a plant and his own comfort than all the people in Nineveh. Talk about ways that God has used something happening to teach us. Talk about how God cares for us, and we should care for others more than we care about things.
Thank God for the mercy he shows. Ask Him to help you show care and mercy to others.
God’s Mercy Makes Jonah Angry – Bible story for kids
Games and Activities
Leaf rubbings are a great way to teach your kids about the different parts of a leaf and learn about plants.
All you need is a few leaves, some crayons, and some paper.
Gather some leaves from around your yard or on a nature walk. Look for leaves with interesting shapes or textures.
Have your child rub a crayon or pencil over the top piece of paper, moving it back and forth until the leaf’s shape is transferred onto the paper to create their own leaf masterpieces.
Talk about how the plant provided a shade for Jonah in the sun.
Kids love to explore and learn about the world around them, and what better way to do that than to go on a bug hunt?
Bring the right supplies. A net, magnifying glass, and a jar or container can help your child catch and examine bugs.
Where are the bugs easy to find? Can you find any worms? Talk about the worm that ate the plant in the Bible passage.
Build a shelter
Building a shelter is a great activity for preschool kids. It is a fun way to spend some time indoors or outdoors.
Building a den helps children develop important motor skills, problem solving skills, and creativity. It’s also a great way to encourage cooperative play.
Indoors you could use everything from pillows and blankets to chairs and table. Let the kids take charge and use their imaginations to create the perfect den. Reflect on the shelter God provided for Jonah.
Free Bible Coloring Pages – God’s Mercy Makes Jonah Angry
Jonah and the Vine Craft
What you need:
- Template page,
- Colouring equipment,
- Green Paper,
What to do:
- Colour the template page.
- Rip up bits of green paper to make leaves.
- Glue the green paper around the shelter to provide shade for Jonah.
Worm Craft and Game
Colour, cut and fold to make worms. Blow behind the worm to race across a table.