By Theodore Epp
1 Kings 1:5-14, 28-31
David's last years, possibly eight or nine after the death of Absalom (2 Sam. 18), were comparatively quiet. But there came a moment toward the last days of his life, after he had reigned almost 40 years, that a crisis began because he had been careless in making known his choice of a successor.
This crisis occurred when David was ill and about to die. His two oldest sons, Amnon and Absalom, were both dead. A third son possibly died in his youth, for very little is known of him. The fourth son, who was then David's oldest living son, was Adonijah, the son of Haggith. He set himself up as king and prepared chariots and horsemen and 50 men to run before him (see 1 Kings 1:5). David had not displeased this son at any time. He had never said to him, "Why hast thou done so?" (v. 6).
What factors led to Adonijah's attempt to take over the throne? There was only one--neglect on David's part. He had not done what God had ordered him to do. David was careless, not rebellious, yet that carelessness opened the door for Satan's counterfeit. Our Enemy is always looking for opportunities to control our lives. Where he cannot stir us up to revolt against God, he will seek to make us careless so that before we realize what is happening we are dominated by our fallen natures.
"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36).