When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” (John 2:9-10)

The governor of the feast said more than he intended to say, or rather, there is more truth in what he said than he himself imagined! This is the established rule all the world over—“the good wine first and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse.” It is the rule with men and have not hundreds of disappointed hearts bewailed it?

Friendship first—the oily tongue, the words softer than butter and afterwards the drawn sword! Ahithophel first presents the lordly dish of love and kindness to David; then afterwards that which is worse, for he forsakes his master and becomes the counselor of his rebel son.

Judas presents first of all the dish of fair speech and of kindness; the Savior partook thereof, he walked to the House of God in company with Him and took sweet counsel with Him. But afterwards there came the dregs of the wine—“He that eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.”

Judas the thief betrayed his Master, bringing forth afterwards “that which is worse.” You have found it so with many whom you thought your friends. In the heyday of prosperity, when the sun was shining and the birds were singing and all was fair and gay and cheerful with you, they brought forth the good wine.

But there came a chilling frost and nipped your flowers and the leaves fell from the trees and your streams were frosted with the ice—and then they brought forth that which is worse—they forsook you and fled! They left you in your hour of peril and taught you that great truth, that, “Cursed is he that trusts in man and makes flesh his arm.”

And this is the way all the world over—I say it once again—not merely with men, but with nature too.

“Alas, for us, if you were all,
And nothing beyond O earth,”

For does not this world serve us just the same? In our youth it brings forth the best wine. Then we have the sparkling eyes and the ears attuned to music. Then the blood flows swiftly through the veins and the pulse beats joyously.

But wait a little and there shall come forth afterwards that which is worse, for the keepers of the house shall tremble and the strong men shall bow themselves. The grinders shall fail because they are few; they who look out of the windows shall be darkened; all the daughters of music shall be brought low.

Then shall the strong man totter—the grasshopper shall be a burden and desire shall fail—the mourners shall go about the streets. First there is the flowing cup of youth and afterwards the stagnant waters of old age, unless God shall cast into those dregs a fresh flood of His loving kindness and tender mercy, so that once again, as it always happens to the Christian, the cup shall run over and again sparkle with delight!

O Christian, trust not in men! Rely not upon the things of this present time, for this is always the rule with men and with the world—“the good wine first and when we have well drunk, then that which is worse.” (source)

HT: Truth With Snares

Charles Spurgeon

Further reading