#1063 - "Jericho" by Andrew Ripp
NRT's Kevin Davis talks to the artist about the inspiration behind this catchy new song

Posted: March 31, 2021 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Nashville singer-songwriter Andrew Ripp isn't afraid to share his struggles and victories with others. In fact, in January 2021, Andrew celebrated his 13-year sobriety anniversary.

He says, “I aim to write the most honest music I can. And yes, some songs are more spiritual than others. It’s a part of my story. And, I refuse to keep in the shadows just to make sure my music is more ‘accessible.’ In today’s world, themes of love, redemption, and overcoming adversity are songs we all need to hear.”
Andrew invites you into his life in such an authentic and relatable way. You’ll feel like you're a lifelong friend after you hear his songs (check out his 2015 self-titled album).

The artist's latest song, Jericho, exhibits his gift of relating the challenges of life and the need for a savior. The soulful pop anthem is a preview of Andrew's forthcoming full-length album, Evergreen. I had the chance to speak with Andrew about “Jericho.”

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

“Jericho” has been an arrival in my faith journey for me. This song came from a moment of me sitting at the piano without any specific intention to write a song. I was inspired by a moment. I was playing some chords and the word Jericho came out of my mouth.

The word 'Jericho' intrigued me. I knew about Joshua and marching around the walls. The story of Jericho has always been super inspiring to me, which is why I wanted to turn it into a song.

I was inspired by Joshua’s faith in the story. The part that really draws me in is when God says to Joshua, 'See, I have given you the city.' It wasn't the marching around the walls of Jericho that made them fall. It was the moment Joshua believed God over his circumstance that the city became his.

The only way to get the city was to take it. Joshua didn’t have the city yet, but he had a promise from God. He took it because He believed God’s promise. So, for the song, I use the analogy of my fears coming down like the walls of Jericho.
Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Ephesians 2:13-16 (NKJV): "But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity."

Joshua 1:9 (VOICE): "This is My command: be strong and courageous. Never be afraid or discouraged because I am your God, the Eternal One, and I will remain with you wherever you go."

Joshua 24:14-18 (NIV): "Now fear the LORD and serve Him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." Then the people answered, "Far be it from us to forsake the LORD to serve other gods! It was the LORD our God Himself who brought us and our parents up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled. And the LORD drove out before us all the nations, including the Amorites, who lived in the land. We too will serve the LORD, because He is our God."
Matthew 17:20 (NIV): He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

Hebrews 11:1 (NLT): "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see."

2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV): "For we walk by faith, not by sight."
What is the takeaway message?

Marching around the city walls was just an exercise in faith and obedience. I have found this to be true over the fears that try to steal my freedom. All I need to do is believe what God says over my circumstances and then obey. In the spirit, those Jericho walls came down when Joshua chose to obey God. That really speaks to me in my own personal journey.

It’s so easy for me to overthink things and to have to understand why I must do certain things. The story of Jericho speaks to me because what Joshua was asked to do didn’t make sense. But, in spite of that, he trusted God. He got a word from God, and he obeyed.

I wanted to write a song in that soil of faith. It took great faith to trust God like Joshua. It’s an inspiring story. Once I have the heart of a song and I know God is on it, the melody and lyrics come from there.

I’m very thankful and grateful to be the one who gets to sing "Jericho." This song is a bridge to the depths of my relationship with God. The Lord didn’t give me a spirit of fear.

I've been stacking up the years
I spent trading punches with the enemy
Built myself a double thick
Stone tower of lies
Higher than the eye could see
Trapped in my flesh & bone
Crying out to You Lord
I’m desperate
Love come rattle this cage
And set me free
All of my fears like Jericho walls
Gotta come down, come down
All of my fears like Jericho walls
Gotta come down, come down
Oh Lord, my prison turns to ruin
When Your love moves in
All of my fears like Jericho walls
Gotta come down, come down
Come down
Truth was crashing through
The pride and the blame
Cutting straight to the heart of me
Long before I ever called Your Name
You were fighting for my victory
Carved in Your flesh and bone
The wounds that have
Said my souls forgiven
Oh now I can feel
The darkness trembling
All of my fears like Jericho walls
Gotta come down, come down
All of my fears like Jericho walls
Gotta come down, come down
Oh Lord, my prison turns to ruin
When Your love moves in
All of my fears like Jericho walls
Gotta come down, come down
Come down
Rebuild me from the ground up
All I wanna see is You

Terrify the lies with truth
All of my fears like Jericho walls
Gotta come down, come down
All of my fears like Jericho walls
Gotta come down, come down
Oh Lord, my prison turns to ruin
When Your love moves in
All of my fears like Jericho walls
Gotta come down, come down
Come down
All of my fears gotta come down
Jericho walls gotta come down

Come down, come down
Closing Thoughts
Whether as a song to set the mood for reflection and worship or for personal times of devotion, I rate "Jericho" highly for fans of truth-telling-singer-songwriters like Andrew Peterson, Josh Wilson, and Jason Gray. 

We've all been in that place where we feel unworthy of God's love. But, God comes and claims us in our darkest place. Remember, communion with God is meant to be joy filled, not a burden. 

"Jericho" celebrates the freedom we're promised in God's Holy Word. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." 

Christians are new creations on the inside. The Holy Spirit gave us new life. So, we don't have to live with our guilt, fears, or worries anymore. We're born again. So, let's live as children of God. Let's live as new creations who live under God’s authority.

Are you excited about God’s hope inside of you? Have you humbled yourself and asked Jesus to make you a new creation? That’s how the “Jericho walls gotta come down, come down.”
Andrew has a knack for hitting me where I am spiritually and expressing the prayerful yearnings of my heart. The artist's ability to connect emotionally and vulnerably to his songs brings me closer to God.

God has wired us to need Him. He desires that from us as His children. Let's face it, we all have insecurities. But, it's in our weakness that God is made strong. We need to trust in God like Joshua did in believing in God’s promises.
"Jericho" is all about having a strong faith. Without faith, it's impossible to please God. God tells us in the Bible that with faith, we can do anything in Christ. Remember, we can't know everything, and we're not in control. But, trusting God gives us assurance that we don't have to be afraid. God will be there to pick us up when we fall.

A challenge for me when I listen to this song is to pick an area of my life that I've been trying to control. And, instead of me trying to control it, I put all my hope and trust in God and let Him do it. Pray along, “Rebuild me from the ground up/All I wanna see is You/Terrify the lies with truth.”
Songs are an inheritance to share in victory together. God's Word doesn't return void. He wants us to have victory. I'm thrilled to feature the message behind this song, which has quickly become one of my favorite songs of the past year. So many people can relate to its message.

Remember, we can't earn heaven; it's only through complete surrender to Jesus and putting all our hope in Him that we can be saved. It's not based on our performance or what we can do for God. He pours out His mercy despite what we've done. God's mercy is new each day. There's nothing we can do except to trust in His Son Jesus.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, this Holy week, you'll want to join in and sing out: “All of my fears gotta come down/Jericho walls gotta come down/Come down, come down.” Amen to that.

NRT lead contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector, and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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