The fear of the Lord is a regular topic throughout the book of Proverbs. It is the fear or respect of the Lord that leads to wisdom - and now we learn that it leads to life as well.
Fearing the Lord is so important to us because of what God says it does for us. We are fallen - and need to realize that this life is about far more than just us. If we do not, we will live a life filled with selfishness and self-centered choices. But life is not about us - it is about God and bringing Him glory. It is about living for Him - His purposes and His plans. But if we do not respect Him - honor Him - and yes, fear Him - we will not do this. Fearing God does have an element of seeing the end (which is a recurring theme in Proverbs) and realizing that the end is His judgment and an accounting for how we've lived the life He has given to us. It is also respecting Him, knowing His Word is right, true, and the sole place we can get perfect direction in our lives. It is also honoring Him - as we truly appreciate our salvation - and see that He deserves all the honor, glory, and praise for all things. This kind of fear - will "lead" us to life.
Proverbs says that a wise man fears God - and sees that this "leads" to life. It is not enough to just fear God occasionally - or to have a big "one-time" experience with God. Fearing God means we are led every day of our lives. That fear leads us every day of our lives to life. We experience life as we turn to God. He gives us His life by which we overcome sin - and live above the selfish, petty desires that rule our flesh. As we turn to Him this way - we are led away from following this world as it marches toward death and destruction - and led to Jesus Who gives us life and life abundantly.
One of the blessings that comes with this life is we sleep well. God tells us that we will sleep satisfied - untouched by evil. There is a promise here that we will sleep well - but please do not see fearing God as just a sleep aid. The passage points to our sleep being sweet BECAUSE we are untouched by evil. The key here is that evil does not dominate - indeed - it does not touch our lives. When you consider what evil has done to myriads over the centuries - you can understand why such peace is invaluable. God keeps us from this evil - because as we fear Him - we fear being disobedient to Him. We choose obedience and we are blessed. We choose submimssion and surrender to God's will and evil does not win the day. Righteousness and peace are given to us - and come to reign in our lives as God grants His own holiness to us as we live for Him.
I end today's proverb with a question for you. What has the utmost respect and honor in your life? This leads to a second question which is, where is this leading you? We need to see that there is a direct correlation between what you fear, what leads you - and in the end - what touches and molds your life. For the wise man - the answers to these questions lead them back to Jehovah God - to His Word - and to a life untouched by evil. It also leads to a life blessed here on earch - an infinitely blessed for all eternity.