The last of the four songs of distress, this one is also considered a penitent psalm. David has no quarrel with dying here; it’s not a question of what he deserves, but his faith demands he not simply give up.
He calls for God’s attention, then immediately confesses he is unworthy. The issue is God’s divine moral character. On the one hand, God alone is holy and no human is worthy in His sight. On the other hand, this implies that God is also merciful for His own reasons, having chosen to use people to participate in His revelation of glory. If we know this, surely it is because the Lord has spoken through His people before.
David confesses his dire straights; one more nudge and he falls over the edge into death. He has come to the end of all his resources and there’s nothing left.
However, so long as he lives, David can remember all the things God has done. Not just ancient records, but what David himself has experienced at the hand of Jehovah from his birth. In this quiet moment, in the long night of the soul, he recalls all the marvelous things God has done in revealing His glory. This is the mighty God to whom David spreads out his hands in supplication.
If the Lord isn’t ready to move, then David’s life is ended. But he is confident in God’s power and mercy. Jehovah sees and knows, and can ensure David lives to serve Him again. Now is the time, he cries out. There’s no one else who can save him, yet his Master can do anything. Indeed, let the Lord turn the tables on David’s enemies. Let them not take mastery over him as if to steal from God.