God called to Jonah one day and told him to go preach to Nineveh because the people were very wicked. Jonah hated this idea because Nineveh was one of Israel’s greatest enemies and Jonah wanted nothing to do with preaching to them!
Jonah tried to run away from God in the opposite direction of Nineveh and headed by boat to Tarsish. God sent a great storm upon the ship and the men decided Jonah was to blame so they threw him overboard. As soon as they tossed Jonah in the water, the storm stopped.
God sent a big fish, some call it a whale, to swallow Jonah and to save him from drowning. While in the belly of the big fish (whale), Jonah prayed to God for help, repented, and praised God. For three days, Jonah sat in the belly of the fish. Then, God had the big fish throw up Jonah onto the shores of Nineveh.
Jonah preached to Nineveh and warned them to repent before the city is destroyed in 40 days. The people believed Jonah, turned from their wickedness, and God had mercy on them. Jonah now became angry and bitter because God did not destroy the Ninevites who were Israel’s enemy! When Jonah sat to rest, God provided a vine to give him shade. The next day, God sent a worm to eat the vine. Jonah now sat in the hot sun complaining and wanting to die. God called out to Jonah and scolded him for being so concerned and worried about just a plant while God was concerned with the heart condition and lives of 120,000 people who lived in the city of Nineveh.