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A Fishy Tale by Steven Wilson

The big fish took Jonah to dry land

Text Version | Afrikaans | Italian

Morah sat on the beach throwing pebbles into the sea. She was angry! Her parents were always telling her what to do and she was fed up with it. Determined never to obey them again, she flung her last pebble into the water and turned to leave.

Morah sat on the beach throwing pebbles into the sea No sooner had her pebble splashed down into the sea than the waters began to froth and foam. Huge waves rose and crashed onto the sand.

"Crumbs!" she shrieked spinning round. "I didn't throw it that hard!" But it hadn't been her pebble that had caused the water to react so violently. It had been the forty-foot fish that was at that very moment beached right in front of her.

Morah froze. She didn't like fish at the best of time and certainly not huge big ones that kept winking at her. She was wondering what she should do, when suddenly the huge fish began to retch. It was about to be sick and Morah was standing in the firing line. She dived for a nearby bush just in time as the fish gave one last heave and was sick all over the sand.

There in amongst the debris was a man What a mess! There were seaweed and timbers, and old rags, and...and...and.... Morah rubbed her eyes. She could hardly believe what she saw. There in amongst all the debris was! He was alive. He was covered in goo and bleached as white as a lamb. But he was alive!

The man staggered to his feet and the huge fish thrashed back into the sea.

The man was small with a tangled beard that was more seaweed than hair. His skin was wrinkled like a prune and he smelled horrible. "What a pong!" thought Morah, as she cupped her hand over her nose and sank lower behind the hedge. "How on earth did he end up inside a fish?"

She watched him pull a piece of driftwood from between his toes, clear the mucus from his eyes and ears, and struggle up the beach until he was gone.

She heaved a sigh of relief and climbed out from behind her bush to set off for home.

Although her thoughts were taken up by the strange events on the beach, she was still determined to tell her parents that she had decided not to do what they ask ever again.

The same man that told us to throw him in the sea "I've just seen him!" she heard her father's voice tell as she neared the house. "The same man that told us to throw him in the sea because he had angered his God. He said it would stop the storm. And it did!"

"Wow!" said Morah's mother as Morah entered the house. "He must have a mighty powerful God to stop the storm like that. Why didn't he drown?"

"Well apparently," Morah's father continued, "he's been in the belly of a fish for three days and nights. Now that is a mighty God he follows, if you ask me."

Morah froze once more at the mention of the big fish. So that's how the strange man had ended up inside the fish. He'd angered his God.

"How did he anger his God?" asked Morah, somewhat surprising her parents who hadn't noticed her come in.

Girl Cleaning "Well," said her father, crouching down to give his daughter a big hug, "apparently he refused to do what God had asked him to do!"

"Really!" gasped Morah, remembering the sight of the bedraggled old man who had just spent three days inside the belly of a fish. "Oh, dear!" And without another thought, Morah turned to her mother and said, "Is there anything you would like me to do? You only have to ask, you know. I'll be only too willing."

And with that, Morah grabbed a broom and frantically began cleaning the house.


1. Do you think Morah was right, not wanting to help her parents?
2. Why is it important to help other people?
3. What sorts of things can you do that would help God?

Sometimes the simplest actions can bring the greatest rewards!

"And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward" (Matthew 10:42).


What things do your parents ask you to do that you don't really want to do or
feel like doing? Do you think your disobedience makes them happy or sad?

Can you think of things that God wants us to do that we do not really want to
do? How do you think God feels when we are disobedient to Him and his Word?

[After discussion:] Sometimes we just can't get it right, can we? But we have
a promise from God in his Word saying that He will make us able and willing
to do his will if we trust and rely on Him to help us. Philippians 2:13
says, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of
his good pleasure." That means God is at work within you, helping you
want to obey him, and then helping you do what he wants.

Let's stop now and ask God to forgive us for our disobedience to Him and our
parents and ask Him to give us strength to be obedient to all He wants us to do.


Dog and boy praying

Dear Lord, please help me to know that every time
I do something for another person,
I am also doing it for You.
Please help me to show your love
to my friends and family
in the things I do for them.
In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

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Jonah end pic

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Last updated May 15, 2023

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