Then the Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning, confront Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me, 14 or this time I will send the full force of my plagues against you and against your officials and your people, so you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth. 15 For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth. 16 But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. 17 You still set yourself against my people and will not let them go. 18 Therefore, at this time tomorrow I will send the worst hailstorm that has ever fallen on Egypt, from the day it was founded till now. 19 Give an order now to bring your livestock and everything you have in the field to a place of shelter, because the hail will fall on every person and animal that has not been brought in and is still out in the field, and they will die.’”
The plagues started out like a warning shot across Pharaoh’s bows. If he had responded well, there would have been no need for this intensification.
However, ‘God wanted to make Pharaoh a permanent example to all people of the folly of resisting Israel’s God (verse 16). Evil men are sometimes raised…up so that God can demonstrate His justice and power in dealing with them (see Romans 9:17). No ruler – good or evil – sits in power without God having placed him there (Romans 13:1).’ Tom Hale: ‘Applied Old Testament Commentary’, p.221.
God is rightly and supremely interested in glorifying His own Name, and He has the right to do it in whatever way He chooses.
‘God is most jealous for his own glory, fame, and honour. He desires above all else that His name be preserved and promoted and He will act quickly and powerfully to vindicate His glory.’ Nigel Lloyd.