The natural man believes he has something that he does not; namely wisdom and understanding. However, reason and logic will not produce wisdom.
Man may expend his total life’s effort attempting to attain true wisdom but will not find it.
“But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man does not know its value, nor is it found in the land of the living.” Job 28:12-13
Simply stated, natural man does not know the meaning or the value of true wisdom. Therefore, he does not know where to look for it, let alone understand its priceless worth.
The natural man confronts life’s challenges by relying on his own logic and reasoning, but the results are devastating.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 16:25
God gave Solomon wisdom in order for him to understand the folly of man’s feeble attempt to attain wisdom by reason.
When Solomon attempted to understand activities on earth he had to admit that such understanding was not available by way of man’s reasoning ability.
“…For though a man labors to discover it, yet he will not find it; moreover, though a wise man attempts to know it, he will not…find it.” Ecclesiastes 8:17b
Solomon’s use of ‘wise man’ was referring to natural man’s wisdom.
It appears that Solomon was obsessed with natural man’s lack of understanding of that which he observed.
A natural man’s best efforts could only reveal his lack of wisdom.
“Even when a fool walks along the way, he lacks wisdom, and he shows everyone that he is a fool.” Ecclesiastes 10:3
Natural reasoning could not explain life’s ironies.
“Folly is set in great dignity, while the rich sit in a lowly place. I have seen servants on horses, while princes walk on the ground like servants.” Ecclesiastes 10:6-7
To Solomon, such ironies could not be explained by reason. It didn’t make ‘sense’ to the natural man to observe servants on horses while the elite walked in a way fitting for servants.
Isaiah also addressed the issue of the total inadequacy of natural man’s feeble attempts to understand and display true wisdom.
“We grope for the wall like the blind…as if we had no eyes; we stumble at noonday as at twilight; we are as dead men in desolate places.” Isaiah 59:10
The above describes the total folly of a natural man trying to understand, let alone solve, life’s challenges with human logic.
As would be expected, such a significant issue as natural man’s understanding, or lack of it, would be addressed in the age of the church.
Paul addressed the issue of natural man’s lack of true wisdom by quoting Isaiah.
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” 1 Corinthians 1:19 (from Isaiah 29:14)
The church would be made aware that the wisdom of the natural man would be done away with. God would replace man’s reasoning with true wisdom from above.
“Where is the wise…Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God…” 1 Corinthians 1:20a, 21a
God revealed that natural man’s wisdom was foolishness in God’s eyes. Natural man’s wisdom prevented him from knowing God, or His Son who Paul subsequently revealed as the ‘Wisdom from God.’
In Paul’s first letter to Timothy, he really condemned those false teachers who dismissed the truth revealed in Christ. He said that such teachers knew nothing and should be avoided.
“If anyone teaches otherwise…he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with… arguments…useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth…” 1 Timothy 6:3-5
Again, consider the challenges facing America today. Are the solutions offered to solve such challenges based on natural man’s wisdom or the wisdom revealed by God in Christ? Or does God’s wisdom even enter the decision making process?
Lastly, the natural man and his wisdom will stand before the great white throne judgment at the end of days; those with wisdom from above will not.