English Basic Explanation - Chapter 8
This Psalm begins with David marveling at God's unlimited power. David sees God's power manifest in the mouths of infants, which are closed in the womb and then open immediately at birth (verse 3; see Metzudot David), and also in the heavens and celestial bodies. The infinite vastness of the heavens and the minute intricacies of the human body both testify to God's limitless might and wisdom, which dwarf any achievement or skill that can be credited to a human being.
In the second section of this chapter, David proceeds to express his astonishment over the grandeur and distinction that God bestowed upon the human being. Despite man's powerlessness in relation to God's supreme strength, God elevated him to a stature just beneath the angels and assigned him over all other creatures on earth, from the birds above to the fish down below. Upon contemplating God's unlimited power and capabilities, David comes to recognize man's frailty and insignificance, leading him to wonder how we humans have been granted such power and prominence on earth.
According to Rashi's understanding (verse 2), the focal point of David's marveling is the Beit Ha'mikdash. God's glory belongs in the heavens, and yet He chose to dwell among the Jewish people in the Temple. Man, who is entrenched in the petty and mundane preoccupations of physical life, does not truly deserve the privilege of a direct encounter with the Almighty, as represented by the Beit Ha'mikdash. It is in God's infinite kindness that He granted us the ability to rise above our otherwise mundane, physical existence and reach towards a higher and more meaningful purpose in life.
While we – like David – may not understand why the Almighty deemed mankind worthy of this distinction, we – like David – must appreciate the privilege we have to be able to connect to God through the study and observance of His laws.