Hallel has a mix of emotions. Despite its name, it’s not just about praise. There are also pleas to be rescued and helped intertwined with the celebratory lines.
I want to share a thought I’ve had on one line in particular for many years now.
י הֶאֱמַנְתִּי, כִּי אֲדַבֵּר; אֲנִי, עָנִיתִי מְאֹד.
יא אֲנִי, אָמַרְתִּי בְחָפְזִי: כָּל-הָאָדָם כֹּזֵב
10-11 I believed even when I said: ‘I am greatly afflicted.’ I said in my haste: ‘All men are liars.’
These lines display a very healthy attitude that is not common enough. He is saying that even in moments of high cynicism, when he feels burned by the lies and corruption of EVERYONE, he still has Emuna. Why is this a big deal? Because most people use their faculty of generalization all the time. Just as that faculty had him saying that every human being is deceitful, he would also think of God in that way.
Scott Peck wrote that people who see God as being cruel and vengeful arrive at that conclusion because some of their own caretakers were cruel and vengeful.
The personal belief (as opposed to doctrinal belief) in a Benevolent Creator almost always emanates from having been raised by benevolent parents or guardians.
Yet in this praise, he is able to say that his hastily stated view that all men deceive does not weaken his view of God’s benevolence.
יב מָה-אָשִׁיב לַיהוָה– כָּל-תַּגְמוּלוֹהִי עָלָי.
12 How can I repay unto the LORD all His bountiful dealings toward me?