The successor to David as king is reported in this chapter. I Kings 1 may be divided into three major parts as follows:
I Kings 1:1-27
Getting a successor for David was prompted by at least three situations in David's circumstances. God often uses our circumstances to prompt needed action.
The first situation mentioned in David's circumstances that prompted getting a successor for David was David's aging.
• The certainty of aging. "David was old and stricken in years... was very old" (I Kings 1:1, 15). Aging leads to death. Aging begins the day you were born, so that "it is appointed unto men once to die" (Hebrews 9:27). With death a sure thing apart from the rapture, one should be ready for death, "but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).
• The consequences of aging. "Gat no heat" (I Kings 1:1). When one gets older he chills easier. Old people wear sweaters when younger people perspire.
• The counsel for aging. "Let there be sought for... the king a young virgin... cherish him... lie in thy bosom... may get heat" (I Kings 1:2). To solve David's heat problem, it was proposed that a beautiful woman be obtained for David to warm him up. First, the abomination of the counsel. This was grossly immoral counsel. It proposed sexual intimacy which was nothing but adultery, sin, wickedness. Second, the advocates of the counsel. "His servants said unto him" (I Kings 1:2). The counsel came from those loyal to David. Satan loves to tempt through our respected friends. Therefore base everything upon the Word of God; it is the only trustworthy foundation upon which to stand. Third, the acceptance of the counsel. Such counsel was popular in David's day. It did not go against popular custom. Fourth, the ardor for the counsel. "Sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel" (I Kings 1:3). This evil counsel was full the ardor of sin. Evil often shames righteousness with its zeal. Fifth, the attractiveness of the counsel. "Fair damsel... very fair" (I Kings 1:3, 4). Sin is attractive to the flesh. Sixth, the artfulness of the counsel. "That my lord the king may get heat." (I Kings 1:2). Sin was disguised as a health aid. But it is better to be holy than healthy. Seventh, the affects of the counsel. Sin often reaches far beyond the initial affect. The Abishag sin problem later involved Adonijah, David's son, and resulted in Adonijah's death (I Kings 2).
• The character in aging. "But the king knew her not" (I Kings 1:4). To his credit, David did not sin with Abishag. You can still have character when you do not have health.
The second situation in David's circumstances that prompted the need for a legitimate successor to David as king was the evil actions of Adonijah, one of David's sons, to become king.
• The period of the actions. "Then" (I Kings 1:5). Adonijah took his action when David was infirm and in his last days. He was an evil opportunist who would take advantage of other people's infirmities to advance his own cause. Many folk in every age exploit the suffering to advance themselves and get gain.