This psalm was written by David as he thought about the dignity that God had given to the human race. Yet it is more than a reflection on humans in general because in Hebrews 2:6-9 the writer applies the psalm to the exalted Christ.
In verses 1-4, David is thinking about God’s ability to create a marvellous universe. Everything in it, whether on the earth or in the sky, points to the greatness of God. His power and wisdom are so obvious that even young children can see how great he is, and their praise is used by him to quieten those who oppose him.
As he looks at the heavens, David is reminded that they are under God’s control, with each star and planet fulfilling the function God gave to it. He uses a beautiful picture of the Creator – his fingers gently embroidered the heavenly bodies into their locations. Yet David also realises that humans are very small in comparison to the vast universe. At the same time he knows that God is concerned about humans and provides for them. Why does he do this? David gives the answer in verses 5 to 8.
The reason why God cares for humans is found in Genesis 1. David reminds himself of the place Adam was given by God. Adam was created to be a king, ruling on behalf of God over the animals, birds and fish. The only creatures that were above Adam at that time were the angels.
We know that Adam rebelled against God and as a result he lost his kingdom. Yet that does not mean that man has lost for ever this place of dignity. To find how man has recovered his position of prominence we need to turn to Hebrews 2. There the writer states in verse 8 that we do not yet see all things under the authority of man (the word yet is very important). Nevertheless whom we do see is Jesus, and we see him crowned with glory and honour. So he has become King.
Jesus is not only King of the earth, which was the extent of Adam’s domain. Instead Jesus is Ruler of all things, and even the angels, who were not under Adam’s rule, are under the authority of Christ.
Since Jesus is exalted, why do we not yet see all things restored under the authority of man? The answer is that Jesus the King is waiting until all his brothers, his fellow-rulers, are brought to glory. When they are all ready for their inheritance, then the universe will be under the authority of Jesus and his redeemed people.