“The Ropes of Death Entangled Me”

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“The ropes of death entangled me;
floods of destruction swept over me.
The grave wrapped its ropes around me;
death laid a trap in my path.
“But in my distress I cried out to the Lord;
yes, I prayed to my God for help.
He heard me from his sanctuary;
my cry to him reached his ears.
“Then the earth quaked and trembled.
The foundations of the mountains shook;
they quaked because of his anger.
“Smoke poured from his nostrils;
fierce flames leaped from his mouth.
Glowing coals blazed forth from him.
He opened the heavens and came down;
dark storm clouds were beneath his feet.
Mounted on a mighty angelic being, he flew,
soaring on the wings of the wind.
“He shrouded himself in darkness,
veiling his approach with dark rain clouds.
Thick clouds shielded the brightness around him
and rained down hail and burning coals.
“The Lord thundered from heaven, the voice of the Most High resounded amid the hail and burning coals.
“He shot his arrows and scattered his enemies;
great bolts of lightning flashed, and they were confused.
“Then at your command, O Lord,
at the blast of your breath,
the bottom of the sea could be seen,
and the foundations of the earth were laid bare.
“He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
“He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me.
They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress, but the Lord supported me.
“He led me to a place of safety;
he rescued me because he delights in me.
“The Lord rewarded me for doing right;
he restored me because of my innocence.
“For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
I have not turned from my God to follow evil.”
(from Psalm 18)

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