And so we arrive at the beginning of The Plagues. This has to be one of the most famous events of the Bible — a fearful accounting of "what God can do to you if you won’t listen to Him," as it has been most commonly portrayed. But I think we might find something else going on behind the scenes if we look closely.
At the beginning of the chapter, God says, "Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it." (vs 4-5)
When I read this, here is what I saw: God wanted the Egyptians to know that He was the Lord just as much as He wanted the Israelites to know Him. What does this mean? God is interested in the heathen! He loves those that the world has written off.
The plagues weren’t designed to punish and torture the Egyptians. They were designed to communicate with Pharaoh and his people. God wanted them to know that He was the One who had saved them from the Great Famine. He wanted them to know that He loved and cared about them more than the many gods they served.
There was no other reason why God needed to keep the Israelites in Egypt for the length of time it took to complete the ten plagues. He could have easily struck the Egyptians blind while He ushered the Israelites out. There's only one reason He didn't do that: God wanted to reach the Egyptians just as much as the Israelites.
His love is not limited by our nationality or our upbringing. God doesn’t play favorites, favoring the "educated" and neglecting the "ignorant." He has plans to reach us all. It’s no coincidence that the God who was accused of "eating with sinners" while He lived on Earth in the flesh was trying to strike up a conversation with the heathens in Egypt!