Among the things that help people have a long life, my guess is that fearing God is not listed very often, yet that is what we learn today from our proverb of the day. The fear of the Lord prolongs life is what we are told by Solomon. This means that we have great respect and honor for God Himself and for His Word. Therefore this man chooses to obey God and do what His Word says. If we only looked at this from a medical perspective, it is true. The Old Testament dietary and cleanliness commands present the healthiest way to live possible. These laws protected the people of Israel from disease and from a host of illnesses that are related to how people eat. They also protected them by keeping them from a myriad of bacterial, viral, and commuicable diseases. They were not just advanced for their day, they were advanced even for our day. We continue to learn of the wisdom of God through these dietary and public health guidelines. If one were simply to follow these commands, they would be blessed with a long life. They would also not have the usual diseases that shorten life for many in today's world.
The opposite is also stated here - that the wicked will have their years shortened. Again, as was said earlier, there are a number of diseases that an ungodly way of life brings. Abuses in how one eats, drinks, and lives sexually - will greatly shorten someone's life. There are also studies that have looked at how a peaceful heart also will lengthen a person's life. When stress levels are high - all kinds of problems develop both physically and mentally. Some, who otherwise would have lived long lives, did not because of what excessive stress did to them. Of all the areas where these truths apply, our choices in sexuality are the clearest ones of all. When a wicked person ignores God's call to abstinence before marriage and faithfulness in a monogamous, heterosexual marriage, there are multiple problems that develop. First there are sexually transmitted diseases. These abound in a sexually promiscuous society. They shorten lives of millions - and also greatly reduce the quality of a person's life as well. When we factor in the diseases that are rampant in the homosexual community we see that ignoring God and not fearing and respecting His Word shortens the lives of too many.
Let me close by dispelling a bad attitude some have toward the whole idea of fearing God. The reason so many do not like this idea is because they treasure their own independence from God. They do not want to have an all powerful, all wise God who knows the truth and tells us what it is. But the reason we should fear God is BECAUSE He knows the truth. When He tells us something and warns us of adverse consequences - He is right. These things WILL HAPPEN to us - and will cause untold grief and, in the case of today's proverb, sometimes even early death.