On The Son of Peleth
Scripture Reading: Numbers Chapter 16
Numbers 16: 1-3 "Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown. They gathered together against Moses and Aaron…"
On was one of those who took part in the rebellion of Korah but is not mentioned in the resulting judgment. The name "On" means wealth or vigor. A further meaning is to attempt something and be successful at it. However, the spiritual power for this lesson is at the base meaning of his name which is to pant or cry out. Psalm 42 is a psalm for the Sons of Korah, and it begins, "As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God." At some point On was able to see that observing the lying vanity of rebellion was to forsake the mercy of God. There is no record of On's repentance, yet as the base meaning of his name suggests, somewhere he panted or cried out to God for mercy and "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound (Romans 5:20)."
On is a character through whom the love, grace and mercy of God is on full display. As with any believer whose soul pants for or cries out to God with creation's groan, God hears and delivers. On is not heard of anymore because he pictures one becoming one with God. The whole point behind the panting soul is to go on to maturity in Christ leaving all the interests of self behind. As seen in Numbers 16:2, On was a descendent of Reuben. The Holy Spirit inspired that fact to be recorded for our learning. Reuben's name means behold a son. On is a further picture of a believer who is saved by grace through faith, and becomes a son whose life is hid with Christ in God.