Shall not all these take up their taunt against him, with scoffing and riddles for him, and say, “Woe to him who heaps up what is not his own— for how long?— and loads himself with pledges!”  Will not your debtors suddenly arise, and those awake who will make you tremble? Then you will be spoil for them.  Because you have plundered many nations, all the remnant of the peoples shall plunder you, for the blood of man and violence to the earth, to cities and all who dwell in them.  “Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house, to set his nest on high, to be safe from the reach of harm!  You have devised shame for your house by cutting off many peoples; you have forfeited your life.  For the stone will cry out from the wall, and the beam from the woodwork respond.  “Woe to him who builds a town with blood and founds a city on iniquity!  Behold, is it not from the LORD of hosts that peoples labor merely for fire, and nations weary themselves for nothing?  For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.  “Woe to him who makes his neighbors drink— you pour out your wrath and make them drunk, in order to gaze at their nakedness!  You will have your fill of shame instead of glory. Drink, yourself, and show your uncircumcision! The cup in the LORD's right hand will come around to you, and utter shame will come upon your glory!  The violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you, as will the destruction of the beasts that terrified them, for the blood of man and violence to the earth, to cities and all who dwell in them.  “What profit is an idol when its maker has shaped it, a metal image, a teacher of lies? For its maker trusts in his own creation when he makes speechless idols!  Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake; to a silent stone, Arise! Can this teach? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in it.  But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.” (ESV)
In this series of taunts, God reassures Habakkuk that all God’s enemies will certainly pay for their evil deeds. Whether it is violence, cruelty, or injustice, all those who perpetrate evil will have evil return on them. The God that they defy is the LORD of hosts (v. 13), the commander of the heavenly armies. Yet amid the disaster for all enemies of the LORD, there is hope for all His people: the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea (v. 14).
The glory of the LORD is his special presence with His people. It is what filled the tabernacle and temple. Habakkuk’s hope and our hope is that there will come a day when it fills the earth. On that day, sin and all its effects will be fully and finally put to death. As God’s people, our hope is in THAT day, and not in the removal of a particular evil that gives our lives temporary stability.
The LORD’s final taunt is against all false gods and false hopes (vv. 18-20). Trusting in anything that is made, trusting in anything other than the true God, is the epitome of folly. God’s people, who like Babylon are prone to such folly, should take note. In what are we putting our trust? Let us turn in reverent awe to the holy one (v. 20) who goes on to demonstrate His holiness, power, and glory as one who is taunted (Matt 27:28-31), as one who suffers like an evildoer on our behalf in order to secure our everlasting hope (2 Cor 5:21).