The gemara (Sanhedrin 111) links "v'lakachti eschem li l'am" with "v'hei'veisi eschem el ha'aretz" and teaches that just as only Yehoshua and Kaleiv, 2 out of 600,000 of those who left Egypt, made it to Eretz Yisrael ("...v'hei'veisi"), so too, only 2 out of 600,000 actually left Egypt ("v'lakachti") -- the rest died in makas choshech. Meschech Chochma writes that Chazal are trying to tell us that quantity does not matter to G-d. All the makos and all the miracles done for Klal Yisrael in the desert were worth it if even just 2 out of 600,000 people would achieve the "matarah Elokit," the Divine purpose and end goal. He adds that therefore one should not grow despondent when seeing how the masses remain unresponsive to the dvar Hashem. That's just the way things work -- it is a few individuals who are truly inspired and committed, but in their merit, G-d protects our entire nation.
R' Moshe Tzuriel in his Derishat Tzion calls attention to the Meshech Chochma's phrase "ha'matarah ha'Elokit." What indeed was the purpose and end goal of yetzi'as Mitzrayim? Wasn't it mattah Torah? Didn't the entire nation, all 600,000+, not just 2 people, merit standing at Sinai and hearing the dibros? Clearly that's not the "matarah" the Meshech Chochma was speaking of. The Torah is a blueprint, but what good is a blueprint, a plan, which is never brought to fruition? The end goal, the "matarah," was building a nation in Eretz Yisrael.
To put what I think R' Tzuriel is saying a little more starkly, yesh lachkor: is the purpose/matarah of Klal Yisrael to learn and keep Torah, and having Eretz Yisrael is just a means to that end, or is the goal/matarah to build a nation, which means having our own country, and the Torah is a means, an instruction book, on how to go about doing that?
"Eretz Yisrael einena davar chitzoni, kinyan chitzoni la'umah, rak b'tor emtza'i l'matarah shel ha'hisagdut ha'kelalit v'hachzakat kiyuma ha'chomi oh afilu ha'ruchani..." (First sentence in Rav Kook's Orot)
Without "v'hei'veisi," the goal remains incomplete and the "matarah" is not achieved.