God had a plan, and God fulfilled it. The Hebrews were God's children, had a purpose and everything was designed to launch them into a strong people of faith.
I've never had a problem with this verse. It shows God's ultimate power in all that He created. God has the power to harden and soften one's heart. I've prayed for him to soften the heart of people who might be hard and cold and hurtful. Ultimately the key is to build a relationship with God and depend and trust in God's ultimate plan and his Love for us.