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The Story of Jonah

The Story of Jonah

My name is Jonah and I was rich in my time
This is my story, in verse and rhyme

Because I worked hard, I had chickens a donkey and a goat
They were the fruit of my labors, I owned more than most

I obeyed God's laws and I tried to live clean
I was never hurtful, angry or mean

One day I heard “Jonah, my servant, listen to me”
I wondered “Who in the world can that voice be?”

“I am the Lord God and I want you to go today
To a place called Nineveh, very far away”

“Yes, Lord I know the city of which you speak
It's full of hatred, anger and grief

Why do you want me to go to this wicked place?
There are plenty of others to pick from in the human race.”

“The people in this city do not live by my laws
Announce my judgment against them, once and for all.”

“Yes Lord, I'll go, but they won't listen to what I say
I'm just one man and they are set in their evil ways”

I tried to sleep that night, but the dreams never came
The more I thought about it, the more afraid I became

Those people might kill me and to God I just lied
I'll go someplace that He can't find me and hide

So I traveled from my home and headed toward the sea
To a port called Joppa to find a boat that would take me

 As far in the opposite direction from Nineveh as can be
God would never find one man in the Mediterranean Sea

So I found a ship that was headed out to sea
And I asked if they had a place on board for me

I gave them all the money I had to get to come
 Someone said “I wonder what he's running away from?”

I got on board and I went low
Down to the bottom of the ship, as far as I could go

 We sailed far out, many miles from the shore
Maybe here God would forget and not want me anymore

I went to sleep and a huge storm appeared
The Captain and the crew were overcome with fear

The sailors threw all of the cargo off the boat
To lighten the load, so that the ship would still float

The Captain came to me where I slept in bliss
He woke me shouting “How can you sleep at a time like this?

We are all about to drown, so wake up and pray
That your God will let us see another day.”

The ship master and all of his crew cast lots to see
Which one of them caused the ocean, so angry to be?

I lost the toss and the lot fell on me that day
The sailors were sure that I caused the sea to be this way

“What have you done to bring this fury down on us all?
What do you do, Where are you from?” I heard them call
“I'm a Hebrew; I worship the One who made the sea and land
And I'm running from Him, just as hard as I can!”

“Whatever you did you've got us in a fix we can't win
What do we need to do to make the ocean calm again?”

I told them “pick me up and throw me into the sea
All of this trouble we're in, is because of me”

So I watched them try to get the boat to the shore
And I knew right then that it wasn't worth trying anymore

“Lord please don't make us pay for what this guy did
We'll be glad to throw him into the sea instead”

So they picked me up and threw me into the raging sea
And the next minute the water was as calm as could be

Those sailors worshiped the Lord as much as they could
But now I'm in the water and I don't swim so good

Down I went and I wished over and over again
That I had just taken the time to learn to swim

The next thing I know a great fish came swimming my way
And I sure hoped that he had breakfast that day

But no such luck, that thing swallowed me whole
And inside his big belly, I was wet and cold

Just then I realized that I had air in there to breath
And if I hadn't been eaten, I'd be at the bottom of the sea

So I thanked the Lord from the belly of that fish
And if I get another chance I'm gonna follow His wish

For three long days and nights I lived in the belly of that beast
It was dark and stinky, but I was alive at least

The next thing I knew that fish spit me out, that very day
Right on the shore, just like it was planned that way

I hit the ground and the next voice I heard
Said “Now, get up and go to Nineveh and spread the word”

I said “Yes Lord, just watch me go, I'll not make another fuss
I got the hint about which one of us is driving the bus!”

When I got to Nineveh, it took three days for me to see
But I had a job to do and I would do it, even if they killed me
So I told them that the Lord was angry with them
For the way that they were living in greed and sin

To my surprise, they listened and mended their evil ways
And started worshiping the Lord that very day

But I found a spot on the top of a hill, wide and tall
So I could sit and watch the big city fall

I was sure that God was gonna cook their goose
For living their lives so fast and loose

But He had mercy on them and let them be
Not a single one died and God was happy

I was mad at God, “I thought you said they had to die
You put me through all this and I want to know why”

His answer came quickly, I couldn't say a lot
When he said “I gave YOU another chance, did I not?”

Danny Fisher

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