I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Genesis 36:43 ends all Biblical narrations about Esau and his family line stating: these are the chiefs of Edom (that is, Esau, the father of Edom), according to their dwelling places in the land of their possession. Genesis 37 takes up the story of Jacob's family line with the mention: Jacob lived in the land of his father's sojournings, in the land of Canaan.
Esau and his descendance are said to live in the 'land of their possession', while Jacob 'lived in the land of his father's sojournings'. We are told that Jacob's fathers lived in the Land as in a foreign land (Hebrews 11:9). Esau is 'home', while Jacob still waits for the fulfillment of the promises of God.
In our desire for peace and security, in our desire to stop roaming, to lay our luggage down and establish roots, it is so easy to settle for the here and now. What made the patriarchs the 'patriarchs' of our faith? What made their faith so special? It is that they, all died in faith, not having received the things promised (Hebrews 11:13).
I was talking with a friend recently about an idealistic project I want to get into. He asked me, "Can you really see it through?" I said, "Except by a miracle, I don't think so!" I explained to him though that 'victory' is not crossing the finish line, but 'victory' is fighting with all we've got for the goal God set in our hearts until the day we die; to be consumed by it if necessary. We may not enjoy the fruits of our labor, but our children, our grand-children, great-grand children, or future generations will. Most world-changers did not enjoy the fruits of their labors, but the generations after them did.
The fathers of our faith pioneered the way for us. Not having received the promises but having seen them and greeted them from afar (Hebrew 11:13), they left for us an example to follow.
May we also learn not to settle for the temporary 'here and 'now' but set our eyes on the higher goals of the establishment of the Kingdom of God on the earth in the World to Come. May we set our eyes on the Promised Land and not compromise for the sake of temporary peace and security.