I memorized this humorous poem while attending a Christian Leadership Camp for Boys years ago. Be sure you read the poem to the very end and take note as you enter this new year.
Jonah and the Whale
My dear friends just listen to me and I’ll tell you a story that’s true as can be. It’s as good a story as Daniel or Ruth - and though it sounds mighty fishy, it’s every bit truth.
Just listen right good and I’ll tell you the tale of how Old Jonah, the Prophet, was caught by a whale. The whale caught Jonah and bless your soul, he not only caught him, but he swallowed him whole.
A part of this story is awfully sad - it’s about a great city that went to the bad. God saw the people in such wicked ways that He said, “I can’t stand them but 40 more days.”
God said, “Jonah, go cry to that wicked city now. Tell them I will only allow forty more days to get humbled down, and if they don’t, I’ll tear up the town.”
When God had spoken, Old Jonah said, “I’ll have you know, I’m true and loyal to my church and I won’t go. Those Nineveh people mean nothing to me, and I’m against foreign missions you see.”
He went down to Joppa in great haste and boarded a ship for a different place. God looked down on the ship and said, “I see Old Jonah has got the big head.”
So he set the wind blowing with squeaks and squeals; the sea got rowdy and kicked up its heels. Old Jonah confessed it was caused by his sins, so the crew threw him off and the whale took him in.
The whale said to Jonah, “Old Fellow don’t fret, I’m sent out here to take you out of the wet; you are going to be punished much right for your sins.” And as he opened his mouth Old Jonah fell in.
It was the funniest sight you most ever seen, to see Old Jonah ride off in his new submarine. In the bed of green seaweed the whale tried to rest. He said, “I’ll sleep now while I wait for my food to digest.”
The whale got mighty restless and sorely afraid from the murmuring inside as Old Jonah prayed. Now you see how God’s letter to Nineveh laid in the dead letter office 3 nights and 3 days.
On the third day the old fish rose from his bed with his stomach tore up and a pain in his head. He said, “I must get to the air mighty quick, for this filthy old sinner is making me sick.”
So he winked his big eyes and wiggled his tail, then pulled for the shore to deliver his mail. When he got to the shore he looked all around, then heaved Old Jonah clean out on the ground.
Old Jonah thanked God for his mercy and grace, and then he turned to the whale and made a big face. “For three days and three nights, I guess you’ve found that you never can keep a good man down.”
After resting and drying himself in the sun, he started for Nineveh almost on the run. He said, “I must hurry, and I’ll sure not sin for I really don’t want to be swallowed again.”
He arrived in the city about a week late, but began preaching the minute he entered the gate; until the whole population had repented and prayed and the hands of justice and vengeance were stayed.
When you are tempted to sin dear friend, remember this tale; and when you are running from duty, remember the whale. For there are varmints to get you on sea and on land and a woman can be swallowed as easy as a man!