An Animal Parable Bible Lesson – Jonah

Ask the animals and they will teach you — Job 12:7 NLT


If they listen and obey God, then they will be blessed with prosperity throughout their lives. All their years will be pleasant. — Job 36:11 NLT



This Bible devotion is intended to be used with the children’s story, Humongous Hollis. Jesus often taught people using parables. In the same way, these stories and devotions are written to teach Bible truths to kids, and people of all ages. Read the concepts below and look up the Bible verses associated with each one. Use the faith building exercise to build your faith. Based on the story of Jonah and the great fish (some translations say Jonah and the whale), this is the story of the fish that swallowed Jonah. You can read the real story in your Bible at Jonah 1-2.

Humongous Hollis – Key Concepts
A Parable About Knowing God’s Will


1. God made you to be a unique instrument in His service. No matter if you are big or small, God has a purpose and a plan for each life. It is up to you to listen and obey God’s plan for your life.

Psalm 143:10  – Proverbs 3:5-6  – Jeremiah 29:11  – Luke 1:79


2. People can sometimes say things that hurt. They may tease you about the way you look. But if you know that God made you and loves you, you can ignore anything that people say about you. Start seeing yourself the way God sees you. He loves you. If He loves you, how can you not love others and yourself?

Romans 8:38-39  – Ephesians 3:16-19


3. After the teacher told Hollis he couldn’t stay with the school, Hollis did not strike back or get angry. Hollis simply accepted the teacher’s decision. When you know that God is in control, you can let Him fight your battles for you. You can rest in His love.

2 Chronicles 20:12-15  – Psalm 27:1  – John 16:33  – 1 John 4:4


4. After his school left, Hollis thought he was alone. He started feeling sorry for himself. Self-pity is dangerous and it is a sin. You must see yourself the way God sees you. He sees you as being perfect. If you know that He loves you, you never need to be sad. And you can be certain that no matter how alone you feel, God is always at your side.

2 Kings 6:16  – Psalm 125:1-2  – Matthew 28:20  – Hebrews 13:5


5. When Hollis got his mind on God, God was able to use him. You must make the effort to know God’s will for your life. Read the Bible, pray, and worship God every day. That is the only way to draw closer to God. He will guide you in everything that you do if you let Him.

Joshua 1:8-9  – 2 Kings 18:5-7  – John 6:63  – James 4:8


6. God used Hollis to rescue Jonah. He used Jonah to rescue his shipmates and the people of Ninevah. If not for Hollis, thousands of people could have been lost! God uses you to help reach others. It can be as simple as being a friend, or inviting a neighbor to church. But God needs people who will listen and obey. When you are obedient, God can use you in miraculous ways. By helping one person, you may, like Hollis, be helping many more.

Mark 16:15  – Luke 9:2  – John 21:15-17


7. After Hollis did all that God commanded him to do, God arranged for him to join a school of fish his size. People often think that serving God is a one-way street; that they do all the work and get nothing in return. What a horrible lie of the devil! When you serve God (sow good seed), you reap an incredible harvest of blessings. God cares for you and He will make sure you have abundance in every area of your life!

Psalm 128:1-2  – Isaiah 1:19  – Luke 6:38  – John 10:10


Putting It All Together

God made you. You are precious in His sight.

Reading the Bible, praying, attending church, and worshipping God will prepare you for whatever God has planned for your life.

When you help even one person, you may be helping hundreds more. God multiplies each act of love or kindness.

Obeying God brings great joy and rewards in life.

Faith Building Exercise

Say these out loud every day until you believe them in your spirit. They will build your faith. Look up these verses and read them as they appear in your Bible. You can always trust God’s Word because He cannot lie.

God is love. God loves me. Love never fails!
(Deuteronomy 23:5; 1 Corinthians 13:8; 1 John 4:8)

God has a good plan for my life.
(Jeremiah 29:11)

God is always with me.
(Matthew 28:20)

Nothing can separate me from God’s love!
(Romans 8:35)

Everything I do and say pleases God.
(Psalm 19:14; Colossians 1:10)

I love God with all my heart, mind and body.
(Deuteronomy 6:5)


To learn more, click here: Jonah and the Whale

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