A thought I had on this is why tribulation must preceed redemption. Why did God have to curse Egypt before leading Israel out? I think one reason is because, God wanted Israel to leave Egypt and the World behind and not just inherit it and continue the same corrupt traditions, beliefs and practices.
The various curses in the plagues served to weaken Israel's faith in the World, and strengthen Israel's faith in God. We all live in the World and are likely all guilty of much worldliness and materialism in one way or another. I suspect that the Tribulation period in the last days will serve a similar function to reveal the weakness and unreliability of the World and unveil the eternal constancy of God and His gospel and Kingdom.