4 what is man, that thou art mindful of him?
and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels,
and hast crowned him with glory and honor.
6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands;
thou hast put all things under his feet:
This passage can be applied in several ways.
Firstly, this passage is applied to Christ; for it is quoted in reference to Christ in Hebrews 2:6-8. The eternal Son of God became flesh, taking to Himself, a human body, becoming lower even than the angels. This was so that He might taste death for every man, securing salvation for those who believe.
Adam failed to exercise the domminion that God had given him by disobeying God. However, Christ is the New Adam (some insist on Last Adam) who has pefectly obeyed God's law and by His death and resurrection procured freedom for God's people from the curse of sin.
Hebrews 2:8 tells us that not all things are yet put into subjection to Christ. His enemies are not yet made His footstool. However, wne Christ returns to earth, this New Adam or Last Adam shall be given domminion over the earth. He shall rule them first for a thousand years and then forever after presenting the Kingdom to His Father (1 Cor 15:27-28). The Kingdom of the Son of Man shall be forever:
15 ¶ 'And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying,
The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.'
I believe the same passage has reference to the Church. For we see in Hebrews 2:
10 ¶ 'For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.'
It was God's purpose in Christ to create a new heavenly humanity, who would share in the domminion of the New Adam. It says in Daniel 7:
18 'But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.'
The glorified saints in Christ are to share in Christ's domminion. This is of course conditional for the individual Christian. The New Testament is clear that the privilege of sharing Christ's rule may be lost, unlike eternal life (Gal 5:21, 1 Cor 6:9).
I believe that the passage can also be applied to Israel. For God was mindful of a man called Abraham, a sinful man who worshipped idols. He called this man and promised to bless his descendants and to make them a great nation. What a thing! That God should call an insignificant man and promise him such a blessing. Though Abraham's descendants continually fell into apostasy and rebellion, God remembered His covenant with Abraham. Though Israel today is in apostasy, God shall deliver them and fulfill His promises to them at the coming of Christ's Kingdom. God is mindful of these people, though they be lower than angels.
The passage can also be applied to humanity in general. For God is mindful of sinful man. He has appoined a way by which they may be saved and by the power of the Holy Ghost, that way is being proclaimed to all:
16 ¶ 'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.'
What is more, God has plans for the nations. God gave Adam domminion over the earth and told him to be fruitful and multiply. This was God's dealings with earthly humanity. What God gave to Adam was good, it was not a mere transition to the heavenly blessings revealed in Christ. The creation that God gave Adam has been wrecked by sin, however, it is God's purpose to restore the world, partially in the Millennium and also in the Eternal State, the New Heavens and Earth. The time shall come when the Millennial nations who have been faithful will recieve the full blessings that were given to Adam. Death will end along with suffering and the nations will be able to be fruitful and multiply in peace for ever more.