There’s also BG 16.19:
tān ahaṁ dviṣataḥ krūrān
kṣipāmy ajasram aśubhān
āsurīṣv eva yoniṣu
tān — those; aham — I; dviṣataḥ — envious; krūrān — mischievous; saṁsāreṣu — into the ocean of material existence; nara-adhamān — the lowest of mankind; kṣipāmi — I put; ajasram — forever; aśubhān — inauspicious; āsurīṣu — demoniac; eva — certainly; yoniṣu — into the wombs.
Those who are envious and mischievous, who are the lowest among men, I perpetually cast into the ocean of material existence, into various demoniac species of life.
kṣipāmy ajasram – “I put forever”
And then there’s Maharaja Parikshit’s big question in SB 7.1.1 that kicked off a long list of examples stretching over two cantos:
King Parīkṣit inquired: My dear brāhmaṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, being everyone’s well-wisher, is equal and extremely dear to everyone. How, then, did He become partial like a common man for the sake of Indra and thus kill Indra’s enemies? How can a person equal to everyone be partial to some and inimical toward others?
And let’s not forget story of Gopa Kumar from Brihat Bhagavatamrita.
“Prodigal son” metaphor doesn’t contradict these versions, especially if “hidden help” means personalities like Siva or lower demigods.
At the same time, for many Hindus Siva is God and they don’t know any better, it’s their highest concept of the absolute. Krishna is personally indifferent to their endeavors and He delegates dealing with them to Siva, or even to Vishnu, while in Abrahamic religions God is one and he personally manages everything and everyone.
I think the arrangement is like a president who might be very cordial and warm person but getting his audience requires dealing with a million of aides and secretaries. President wants prosperity for everyone, but through the agency of the government, and experience will vary. Abrahamics have lost “government” from their model and so end up dreaming of Santa Claus personally visiting every child in the world or some other direct God-people relationship.
Vedic worship of Vishnu is like that (when it’s exclusive, not as part of pancapasana), and it’s very very rare, but Gaudiya vaishnavism takes it even further – to the dasadasanudasa relationship – servant of the servant of the servant, which culminates in “manjari bhava”.