The devastation indicated in this verse is the partial devastation of the lower planets within the universe when Lord Brahmā goes to sleep. The higher planetary systems, beginning with Maharloka, Janaloka and Tapoloka, are not inundated at the time of this devastation. The Lord is the creator, as indicated in this verse, because the energies of creation are manifested through His body, and after annihilation, He conserves all the energy within His abdomen.
Another significant point in this verse is that the demigods said, "We are all Your servants (bhṛtyān). Give us Your protection." The demigods depend on the protection of Viṣṇu; they are not independent. Bhagavad-gītā, therefore, condemns the worship of demigods because there is no need of it and clearly states that only those who have lost their sense go asking favors of the demigods. Generally, if anyone has material desires to be fulfilled, he can ask Viṣṇu instead of going to the demigods. Those who worship demigods are not very intelligent. Besides that, the demigods say, "We are Your eternal servants." So those who are servants, or devotees of the Lord, are not very much concerned with fruitive activities, the performance of the prescribed yajñas, or mental speculation. They simply serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead sincerely, with love and faith, performing everything with that loving service, and the Lord gives such devotees direct protection. In Bhagavad-gītā Lord Kṛṣṇa says, "Simply surrender unto Me, and I will give you protection from all the reactions of sinful activities." This material world is so created that one has to act sinfully, knowingly or unknowingly, and unless his life is dedicated to Viṣṇu, he has to suffer all the reactions of sinful activities. But one who surrenders and dedicates his life for the service of the Lord has direct protection from the Lord. He has no fear of suffering from sinful activities, nor does he desire, willingly or unwillingly, to do anything which is sinful.