“And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul” (1 Samuel 27:1). Satan’s two primary methods of attack are fear and doubt. If he is unable to sway you with fear, he will try to shake you with doubt. David’s belief that he would perish by the hand of Saul negated his belief that God would deliver him from the hands of his enemies, so both could no be true. There is no other explanation for David’s change of heart than doubt.
Essentially, doubt is a lack of belief or faithfulness. During times of doubt, it is possible to veer off course or take matters into your own hands as David did by going to live among the Philistines (1 Samuel 27:2). Although David was in no danger at the time, he thought it was necessary for him to deliver himself out of Saul’s hands.
“And the time that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines was a full year and four months” (1 Samuel 27:7). The time that David spent living among the Philistines is comparable to a Christian that is in a backslidden state. David’s behavior shows that he has come under the influence of Satan because he lies and uses deception to accomplish his goals. The result is that Achish the king of Gath believes David is serving him instead of God.
Some people may think David’s behavior was justifiable, even necessary for him to avoid being killed by Saul, but the bottom line was that God was not glorified by what David did. Although David did annihilate some of Israel’s enemies, his motive for killing everyone was to perpetuate his deception of Achish (1 Samuel 27:11). David’s main objective was to appear to be loyal to Achish so that he would not have a problem living in the land of the Philistines as long as he wanted to.
“And Achish believed David, saying, He hath made his people Israel utterly to abhor him” (1 Samuel 27:12). The word translated believed here is the same word used to describe Abraham’s belief in God. David’s effort to deceive Achish was completely successful. David no longer had anything to worry about, he was safe at last.