This message of Christ Jesus, the crucified one, the selection of the church and the setting up of his kingdom, was a stumblingblock to the Jews; they could not understand; they would not believe. And to most of the gentiles it seemed foolishness. It was not foolishness, however. It was the greatest wisdom. A few have responded to this divine wisdom. The man, however, who thought himself wise would not become a follower of Jesus. It was not a popular thing. And so it has ever been throughout the gospel age that those who have really come to the Lord, made a consecration and followed in his footsteps, have been the meek and lowly of heart who are anxious to know the Lord and his great plan. Hence St. Paul writes: “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called; but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are; that no flesh should glory in his presence".—1 Corinthians 1:26-29.
The thought here is that ultimately no creature will ever be standing in Jehovah’s presence boasting of what he did. But all those who compose the church will realize that all they have came to them as a gracious gift from Jehovah. To those who have really had the desire to know and serve the Lord the call has been and is beautiful indeed. Such have been thrilled with the gracious words of Jehovah spoken through his prophet, inviting them to become members of the royal family of heaven. The Psalmist wrote: “Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house; so shall the king greatly desire thy beauty; for he is thy Lord, and worship thou him".—Psalm 45:10,11.
As Jesus is the Son of God, so the church, the bride of Christ, is the daughter of God. Hence the Psalmist speaks to her here, inviting those who are to become the daughter to forget their own people and their earthly father’s house and earnestly and willingly follow in the Master’s footsteps. These are invited to worship the Lord and grow in his likeness and thereby become beautiful; and it is that beauty, the character-likeness of the Lord, that he desires.
The development of the church is not an instantaneous matter. It is a gradual process. Some have erroneously thought and taught that a man might be wicked all his life and then on his deathbed confess his sins, accept Christ, become a Christian and die and go immediately to heaven. There is no Scripture that warrants such a conclusion. Time is required for the development of the Christian. He must first repent; that is to say, become displeased with