This verse is the “then” part of a series of “if-then” statements (:1-5). If we will do the three preceding “if” directives — “then” we will “understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.”
“The fear of the LORD” is a central concept in Proverbs. While an appropriate English translation, our modern conditioning to the word “fear” and some of our personal feelings about God often cloud the meaning of this great truth.
Generally seen as a command to be scared of God, to “fear the LORD” is really best understood as a positive activity. It’s really not because He’s going to get me if I don’t!
Truth is — if He was going to squash me like a bug, He would have done so long before now!
“Fear” in relation to God in the Bible, is in the context of “reverence,” “awe” and “worship.” Ultimately, to “fear the LORD” is to see Him as He really is — and to be in awe of His awesomeness!
When we “fear the LORD” we’re seeing God in all His greatness. That goes way beyond His ability to see what we do wrong and then deal with us accordingly.
To see Him as He really is…it’s to understand how all-powerful (omnipotence), all-knowing (omniscience), everywhere present (omnipresence), unchangeable (immutable), loving, patient, merciful, gracious and forgiving He is!
Our appreciation of His greatness — not our fear of His wrath — is way better motivation and empowerment to the “understanding” and “knowledge” this verse says is available.
He has the most wonderful plan for our lives. And as we get to know and understand Him better, we will be much more willing to step out and experience every bit of it!