Yoel tells B’nei Yisrael [children of Israel] that all is not lost; if they repent, the impending disaster can be averted. However, the repentance must not focus on external symbols and behavior, but rather must consist of a genuine change in thoughts and actions. Tearing one’s clothing is a sign of mourning, but Yoel cautions that these actions must reflect genuine feelings of remorse. He then references the divine attributes of mercy detailed in Exodus in the context of the giving of the second set of tablets of the Law, which symbolizes the renewal of the covenant. By mentioning the divine attributes, Yoel reminds his people that God gives second chances, and also hints to them how they should behave in order to once again find favor in His eyes.

Source: Israel in the News