God tells the prophet Jeremiah to make this grand pledge to Israel. God has a message for His wayward people. He makes good on His first promise of the land, but it means so, so much more than that. The Lord God makes a greater promise, a promise to be with His people in a personal, profound way. Look at what He has Jeremiah write regarding the New Covenant.
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to them,”
declares the Lord.
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”
(Jer. 31:31-34, NIV)
But Israel misses the point. Even as they hear the promise, they don't fully understand it, nor commit their ways to the Lord. They understood what it meant to have the land, but to have the promise of God's presence? That was less clear. And let's be honest, less appealing. And when Jesus arrives on the scene, they hardly realize that He is the fulfillment of that New Covenant. We're not that different from Israel. We want the promises of God we can taste and see. Like Israel, we are a people more in love with the promises of God than the God of the promises.
The grand story of Scripture isn't about stuff. It isn't a sweet life here. It's not even just an eternal life there. When we get to heaven we won't care how big our mansion is, what our new bodies look like, or whether or not we can shop, play baseball, or have pets. The greatest promise of Scripture is that God has a plan for a chosen people to enjoy Him forever. That's the point of heaven. Him. Him forever.
God calls His people to be separate. Separate is hard. Hard is good. But God is best. God is our treasure and portion. God is our highest aim and supreme joy. Our singular passion must be an intimate friendship with Him, or we miss the point.