Devotional for December 18th
Nothing God created is hidden from Him. His eyes see everything. He will hold us accountable for everything we do.Hebrews 4:13
PAUSE: Jonah lived in the day when God’s people had turned away from God. In fact, the Jews were taken away from their homes and had to live as slaves in other lands. One day, God told Jonah that He wanted him to go to the city of Ninevah to warn the people there that He would destroy their city if they didn’t turn from their evil ways. Instead of obeying God, Jonah decided to run from God and go as far away from Ninevah as he could. Jonah found a ship that was going to the farthest city he could find. But, God knew exactly where he was. God caused a huge storm to come up. The sailors were afraid that their ship would sink so they started throwing everything overboard. They went to Jonah and said, “Please pray to your God! Maybe He can stop this storm!” But Jonah knew that God wouldn’t stop the storm until he obeyed God.
Jonah told the sailors to throw him overboard. As soon as Jonah hit the water the storm calmed and all was quiet. Jonah began to sink into the sea. But God didn’t want Jonah to drown, he simply wanted Jonah to obey Him. God sent a huge fish to swallow Jonah and take him to the depths of the sea. Jonah prayed and asked God to forgive him for disobeying Him. Finally, after three days of being in the dark belly of the fish, the fish came up to the top of the sea and spit Jonah out onto the shore. Then Jonah obeyed God and went to Ninevah. He told the people to stop sinning. He told them that even though they had run far from God, God loved them. They believed Jonah and God saved them. Just like Jonah was a messenger, God was going to send another messenger to tell everyone to run to God. Just like Jonah spent three days in the dark belly of a fish, God’s messenger would spend three days in a dark tomb. This messenger was Jesus. And just like Jonah had a message, Jesus would have a message too that would save the world from their sins.
PRAY: Father, thank You for sending Your son, Jesus, to die for our sins so that we can be forgiven. We thank You because we don’t ever have to hide from You or be alone.
FAMILY ACTIVITY: Play “Hide and Seek”! Let your child pretend to be Jonah, and you try to find them. Take a big blanket and swallow them up when you find them and spit them out onto dry land (your bed)!