And Moses said to the people, "Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will work for you today..."
The Exodus could have gone down so much easier then it did. Yet God choose to harden Pharaoh's heart over and over again. Why? Was it to make a better children's movie or felt board story? I think not. Then why?
Because His purpose was not only to save His people Israel, but to also show His people Israel He is Savior. If He were to liberate Israel from Egypt with out the plagues, Red Sea parting, etc. Israel would continue to be self-reliant and would not cultivate a heart of trust for their Lord. God wanted them to SEE their salvation and SEE that salvation was a part of who God is and what He is in the business doing. I would even argue (though I am no theologian) that having Israel identify and trust God as Savior was more prominent than their actual escape from Egypt, for Israel would be oppressed again (and indeed they would grow self-reliant once more) but God would never cease to be the Great Liberator.
I feel as if I can often be as Israel, more concerned with the desired outcome of a burdensome situation then with the Lord who IS Savior. The question is never will I be delivered, for I will and always have been. The question is, Do I trust in my deliverer who works for me today?