At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: And his children shall have a place of refuge (KJV).Proverbs 14:26
In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge (ESV).
One of the more surprising things about Scripture is how the fear of the Lord is treated, and how much it clashes with what we tend to assume about it. We tend to think of all fear as being the same kind of thing, something that is a craven or crawling thing. And it is true that the fear of God is rightly called fear, in that we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12), and we are to worship God rightly in reverence and godly fear (Heb. 12:28-29), for God is a consuming fire. So being thunderstruck with awe does have something in common with ordinary fear.
But this proverb points to the great difference. The fear of the Lord is our delight, our joy, and to the most immediate point, our strength. One of the things that the fear of the Lord does is to provide the God-fearer with strong confidence. Not only so, but the one fearing God also knows that his children will have a place of refuge. “With salvation’s walls surrounded, thou mayest smile at all thy foes.”
It is as though there is a spiritual toggle switch, which means that if we fear man then we will not fear God. “The fear of man bringeth a snare: But whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe” (Proverbs 29:25). The two fears exclude one another. The man who fears God does not live in the fear of man. The one who lives in the fear of man does not fear God.
So that is why this proverb can speak as plainly as it does, using terms that appear to be inconsistent. They are not inconsistent at all. The fear of God is strong confidence. Strong confidence arises from this fear.