Often known as Saying 30 of the “sayings of the wise” (22:17), this proverb is about a healthy respect for God and the king.
“Fear the LORD” is a common phrase in Proverbs. To fear God is to see Him as He really is — to be in awe of Him because we realize His awesomeness! It’s all about our focus and understanding of Him.
This verse then adds that we’d do well to have a healthy respect for the king, too! After all — under God — he’s in a position to have quite an impact on my life, too.
As a sort of parallel statement, father added, “do not join with rebellious officials” — that is, those who’ve changed and chosen to not fear the LORD and king.
Dad’s reasoning here is simple. Seeing both God and the king as they really are, we can understand that “those two will send sudden destruction on them, and who knows what calamities they can bring?” (:22).
And, if we’re hanging out with those “rebellious officials,” we can be easily caught up in all their collateral damage. To “fear the LORD” is the perspective that keeps me on track with Him and out of trouble with everyone else!
And He has the power to direct the king to do right thing for me, too! As I see it, “fear the LORD” and He sets me up all around!
It’s all my choice, and the consequences — good or bad — will be of my own choosing.