Quirks, Queries and Commentary—Exodus 9:13-19
As God led up to announcing the plague of hail to Pharaoh, he informed the monarch that he, God, could have wiped Pharaoh and all his people off the earth by this time, but he had chosen not to. Why? "I have raised you up [footnote: spared you] for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."
That particular pharaoh existed for the very purpose of God showing his glory. It could be argued that God raised Pharaoh up specifically to torment his, God's, people. This sounds contrary to popular beliefs about God--God will do only good things for his people. Many people suffered under the slavery Pharaoh had imposed on the Israelites but this is the backdrop God needed to show his glory. If there was no fight with Pharaoh, God's people could have just picked up and left and God's glory and power would be doubted by everyone. Instead, not only were the Egyptians and Israelites impressed with God's might but so were all the nations in the region. This later proved to be a military asset for Israel because the kings knew Israel had a power they couldn't overcome. It is also a story repeated throughout the history of God's people, a reminder of why and who they should honour and worship. Would this have been possible had they not first been enslaved?