The land of Canaan had been promised to Jacob and the future Israelites. It was the Promised Land, the land that God planned to give to the descendants of Abraham. However, the rivalry between Jacob and Esau could have put a wrench in things. Instead of trusting God to fulfill His promises in His own time, Jacob devised a way to get what he thought was rightfully his (the birthright and his father’s blessing). Esau was initially jealous and angry and even sought to kill his brother.
But in Genesis 36, we find that God has creative ways of fulfilling all His promises. Over the course of time, the animosity between Esau and Jacob is dissolved. Esau has forgiven Jacob, and the two reunite as brothers. Esau has been blessed by God with a massive amount of wealth, just as Jacob has.
It is because of those blessings that the fulfillment of God’s promise comes to pass: “Esau took his wives and sons and daughters and all the members of his household, as well as his livestock and all his other animals and all the goods he had acquired in Canaan, and moved to a land some distance from his brother Jacob. Their possessions were too great for them to remain together; the land where they were staying could not support them both because of their livestock. So Esau settled in the hill country of Seir.” (vs 6-8)
God didn’t have to curse Esau in order to bless Jacob. He didn’t have to squash down one of His children in order to be gracious to another. We so often think that if God is going to bless us, He must curse someone else. But God is not limited. He fulfills promises in creative ways, ways we might never be able to imagine.
In this case, He fulfilled His promise of blessing to Jacob by blessing both Jacob and Esau — blessing them both so much, in fact, that they couldn’t live too closely together. So, the next time you’re worried about how something is going to work out in your life, trust it to God. He has so many ways of taking care of our problems and fulfilling His promises!