Now Jonah was a prophet, a preacher man in town
when all of a sudden God sat ole Jonah down.
“Jonah, there’s a job that I’m needing you to do.
Go on down to Nineveh and preach a word or two.”
“Now God, You know I ain’t the one to tell them all of that!
I’d rather give a message to a mangy dog or cat
than to warn those nasty Ninevites you’re lookin’ where they be!
Come on now, Lord, rethink this thing! Just give ‘em TNT!”
“Jonah! Get up on your feet! Your driver’s waitin’ for you!
Go to the beach. Get on that boat. In Nineveh you’re due!”
Now when the Lord puts somethin’ straight, there’s nothin’ else to say.
No poutin’, pokin’, or kickin’ the dirt would change God’s mind that day.
So Jonah set out for the beach but couldn’t quite obey.
The boat he took was one that turned and went the other way!
Now God is patient, loving, kind, but He was not amused.
He sent a killer storm to say, “This is no spring break cruise!”
“OK, I know, the jig is up,” Ole Jonah told the crew.
“Just throw me out, and let me sink, or you’ll be sinkin’ too!”
So up and over like Boston tea our Jonah hit the drink.
A lightning bolt and a wave or two, and Jonah started to sink.
“This isn’t what I had in mind takin’ that prophet job!
Nineveh warnings!? What a crock! I feel like I’ve been robbed!
“I’m going down. It’s all God’s fault. I was gonna be His man.
When it came to watchin’ the fireworks, I’d gladly lend a hand!
“What’s this? A cave I’m coming to? Am I already dead?
A big fish at a steering wheel? Is that what’s up ahead?”
“Your taxi, sir, please step inside. Your fare is paid in full.
Aha! You smell quite tasty too! Too late!” Then one big gulp!
Now Jonah found himself in shrimp and other slimy things.
Dog paddling in a fish’s belly! Beyond imagining!
He shook his fist and yelled at God, “This ain’t no place for me!”
And in that fish Jo heard God say, “I totally agree!
“Rant and rave, and blow your stack, you’ve certainly got the time.
But in three days the trip is done. Go ahead now, pine and whine.
“I’ll check back in and thank your driver when you get to port.
Until then here’s sermon notes—make it sweet and short.”
Then God left Jonah in His fish with plenty time to think.
It was wet and dark and slushy there, even starting to stink.
The message in the sermon notes soaked into Jonah’s heart.
Though still not thrilled with God’s approach, he said, “I’ll do my part.”
Now Jonah must have looked afright when he stepped onto sand.
He even scared himself a bit to see his own two hands.
A fish’s belly for three days is no quaint Comfort Inn.
So he attracted quite a crowd who stood and gawked at him.
“OK,” he said, “I’m here to tell you worthless scoundrels this.
God, for some strange reason, wants to warn you ‘fore He hits.
“All your lousy wicked ways are coming to an end!”
And then to Jonah’s horror they repented of their sin!
“It isn’t fair!” Jo said to God, “You’ve let them off the hook!
I knew You’d do it! Knew You would! I want to see ‘em cook!”
“Enough! Be still.” came God’s reply, “Jonah, you’re not through.
There’s something else to tell to them, the same I’ve told to you.”
Before the man could say, “Oy vey!” he found himself once more
encircled by the Ninevites who’d found him on the shore.
‘There’s something else God wants to say, so listen up, you crudes,
He even says He luh….luh….luh…. Well, He says He ‘likes’ you too.”
“Now, Jonah, say it as I said,” God’s voice was in his ear,
but with a gulp ole Jonah choked and said, “I’m outta here!”
“Enough,” God said, “I’m here with you. It’s time to say it true.”
Then with God’s help, Jo said the words, “God even loves you, too!”
Now we, at times like Jonah, disobey and are self-willed,
but for some Heavenly reason our great God does love us still!
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