This is a story, called a parable, about a man named Jonah who was chosen by God to preach to the people of Nineveh, which was a great city in a distant land. These people did not know about God's loving care and guidance. But, Jonah didn't want to preach there. He thought he could escape God's command so he boarded a ship that was going in the opposite direction from Nineveh.
God knew everything that Jonah did. After Jonah had been at sea for several days, God sent a terrible storm that threatened to wreck the ship. Jonah realized that the storm was his punishment for not obeying God.
Jonah told the men what he had done. Then he said to them, "Throw me into the sea, and then the storm will quiet down." The men pitied Jonah and were reluctant to throw him into the water. They rowed as hard as they could and tried to get the ship back to land. But not matter how hard they rowed the storm got worse and worse. Finally they realized that the only way to survive was to throw Jonah overboard as he had said. As soon as they threw him overboard the storm stopped.
Jonah was tossed about in the sea, but he didn't drown. God sent a great whale to swallow him. For three days and nights Jonah remained alive inside the whale. This gave him time to think about God and how he had disobeyed Him. When Jonah had been punished enough, and was ready to go on with his mission, God caused the whale to open his mouth and deliver Jonah safely on dry land.
Jonah went on to Nineveh and brought God's word to other people.
MATTHEW 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen