“The angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said to her, ‘What ails you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is’ ” (Genesis 21:17).
Elephants have an exceptional sense of hearing. These large land mammals can hear frequencies twenty times lower than humans can. The giant ears of an elephant help to funnel sound waves from the environment. They can also pick up sounds with their trunk and feet, both of which are filled with special receptors that sense low frequency vibrations. That’s why elephants are one of the first animals in a drought- stricken region to move toward the low rumbles of distant thunderstorms.
Even more incredible is the elephant’s ability to communicate over long distances through infrasonic sound. They “talk” through frequencies below the range of human hearing and can be heard by other elephants many miles away. Their low-pitched sounds are entirely silent to our ears.
When Ishmael ridiculed Isaac, the promised child of Abraham and Sarah, he and his mother, Hagar, were banished from their home. As they wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba, they ran out of water and would soon die of thirst. Hagar set her son under a shrub, walked some distance from him, sat down, and wept.
Notice what happened next. An angel from heaven spoke to Hagar and told her, “God has heard the voice of the lad where he is” (Genesis 21:17, emphasis added). It appears the boy hadn’t uttered a word. This Hebrew term “voice” is sometimes translated as an inaudible or distant sound, like the roll of thunder. Though Hagar didn’t cry out to God, nor did she hear her son’s prayers, the Lord responded to Ishmael’s silent plea for help.
God has an exceptional sense of hearing. The deepest and most painful cries of our hearts may never be heard by another human being, but the Lord can discern our every unspoken word. Even though Ishmael could never rightfully claim the birthright in Abraham’s home, God still cared for this outcast. He will hear your every prayer as well, spoken or unspoken.
Dear Father in heaven, I cast all my cares on You, knowing You will hear and care for me.
For Further Study: Genesis 21:8–21; Psalm 18:6; Romans 8:26