mankind's seed once again knowingly rebelled against God. Expecting a judgment upon themselves, the people determined to prevent or thwart God's punishment upon the earth for the third time by building the tower at Babel. The building of this tower at Babel was a vain attempt at erecting a landmark to keep the people together and unified. This project met with the Lord's third and most enduring rebuke -- He cut off His communication with all mankind. Since the act of building the tower was in itself a profane mockery of communication (i.e. trying to reach God), God turned each man's language into a profane mockeryof communication. The Lord left only the holy tongue, His own language, unchanged. It was by this holy tongue that He had previously communicated with man and which would remain the tongue of the prophets. This holy language was now left in the possession of Noah's righteous, still surviving son, Shem.
Mankind, now having lost the ability to form clear thoughts about their maker, was left to vain imaginations and consequently fell into abysmal idol worship. Mankind's tongue, as well as his mind, had become confused and cut off from communication with God, thus apostate mankind lost the knowledge of the true God. While God remained totally holy, man had become totally profane.
But out of this sea of profanity, the Lord selected from the line of Shem an island of holiness, a man named Avram. (later renamed Avraham). Out of the loins would come forth a nation which the Lord would endow with His eternal law. This law would be given so that all other nations could, and ultimately would, turn to God's firstborn son, Israel. For it was God who sovereignly made Israel a holy people when He said: "Be ye holy, for I am holy."