And it came to pass on the way, at the encampment, that the Lord met him and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son and cast it at Moses’ feet, and said, “Surely you are a husband of blood to me!” So He let him go. Then she said, “ You are a husband of blood!”—because of the circumcision. (Exodus 4:24-26 NKJV)
Years ago, when I was involved in vocational youth ministry with Youth For Christ, I was warned about “The Sprinkler Effect”. Sometimes old oscillating sprinklers would water a lawn leaving the area around the sprinkler relatively dry. In life, ministry, and leadership, the sprinkler represents us and the area around the sprinkler represents those people and responsibilities closest to us. We were told it was dangerous to do great ministry to youth while neglecting our own families.
In Moses’ case he was on his way to Egypt to do a great ministry work but failed to take care of his spiritual responsibilities at home. As a result God wasn’t pleased and sought to kill him. Hear me: God was sending Moses to deliver more than a million people from slavery but was about to kill him for neglecting to minister to his wife and kids.
No matter how large the task, crowd, or opportunity, it’s unacceptable to neglect our families, ministry teams, or employees. Failure to tend to the needs of those around us can lead to death. Marriages die when we water the ministry or job more than our spouses. Business morale will die when we chase customers without taking care of our employees. If it could happen to Moses it could happen to us too.
Make a conscious effort to water and nourish those closest to you. They need and value your time and attention more than anyone else.